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The Mozaik Role

The Mozaik Role

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Six teenagers have lost themselves in the lie of society. Some have become introverted, some have put up a mask, but they'll have to find their confident side if they want to ensure the safety of the people they love. They'll have to play the Mozaik Role.

1,456 readers have visited The Mozaik Role since Monochrome created it.

Introduction

.
.
Certain words have piercing strength
It seems one or two stabbed at you
As you laid down in pain, a liquid flowed
Watching your fresh wound bleed
We figured we would call it

'Love'

Mozaik Role


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The world of Am Caillte is a vast and wondrous place. Fields stretch across the land for miles on end without any sign of civilisation and then a intensely high-tech city will emerge from the never ending mist which hangs over every area of Am Caillte. The never-ending mist has become an everyday thing for the people of Am Caillte; all aircraft has been adjusted to split the mist at least fifty metres in front of it, birds have adapted to have vision through the mist and so on. Goggles have even been invented to see through the everlasting mist, but the residents of Am Caillte hardly use them since it's too hard to get used to.

Inside this world of Am Caillte, there are certain cities. As I mentioned before, these cities are incredibly developed, some of them stretching out for an eternity. The city we are looking at is called Dianc Blodau. It is a peaceful city, compared to others, and is actually a lot less built up than the others. The other cities consist mostly of skyscrapers, but this city does not include anything of the sort.

In fact, most places in Dianc Blodau are shrine-like buildings, ranging from small to large. School is far into the sea, positioned on a small island, but the trains can carry you there. Even though they seem old, they are quite fast. The living community circles the town centre, which, even though it is moderner than the rest of the city, still remains a simple area.

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The whole of the city is built in a spiral, so everyone technically lives on the same street. On this street lives six children.

These six children have been best friends since before they could ever remember. For them, it was hard imagining life without each other, since they'd almost never known it. The children used to play on a giant ship, broken down and unused. Little did they know what was under that ship on which they had played so many games about pirates and sailors. Time passes, people change. These children drift apart due to the awkwardness of adolescence, some making new friends, and completely forget about the ship which held so many dreams and memories. It's safe to say they can't even recognise each other.

Then, they have to play the game: Mozaik Role. They have to venture into the caves under the ship into what seems like another world. Of course, they can come back, but they have to complete the game to make sure their city is safe.

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This situation, would you call it love?
Clinging tight, struggling on, toward yet unknown goals,
Isn't it fine to kill those things for good?
If it's me that you hate, with all of your being,


Characters

The Introverted Bookworm Coraline Duner ~ RainbowFace
She lives in a fantasy world, constantly surrounded by books of all kinds. People call her names, but she is so lost in their own world that they really don't care. She seems to babble instead of talk. She remembers the boat, but not the faces of the children.

The Masked Genki-girl Marie "Cleo" Cleophel ~ Tsukiakari
She is constantly happy. All. The. Time. She has many friends, but none close enough to talk to. The genki-girl is very popular, but is in fact hiding behind a mask. Some people find her extremely annoying, but she is actually crying inside. She remembers some friends and the boat.

The Gamer Shut-in Eden Evernalt ~ Annaky
Always surrounded by games, he hardly leaves the house. His only friends are online on the Endleweb (the Internet of Am Caillte) and has no fear in hiding his feelings, since life is a game. He has forgotten everyone and the boat, but remembers upon returning. Talks in game code sometimes.

The Silent Know-it-all Alexander Minki Alois ~ Neon.lynxie
With an extensive knowledge, he stays silent to avoid bullying for his intelligence. His personality is rather unknown, due to being selectively mute. Many people believe he can't speak until he does. He has forgotten the boat but remembers everyone. He just ignores them.

The Rebellious Trickster Ceridwen Nox ~ OpalePhantasmagoria
Always up to something, she is the class clown of almost every class she has ever been in. She seems to be a bit quirky and cheesy, taking the simplest of pranks to new and wild extremes. Her fashion sense is a bit odd too. She remembers everything and actually still talks to some of his ex-friends.

The Flirtatious Heartbreaker Eric Evernalt ~ Annaky
He is constantly followed by fangirls/boys and dates a lot of them for no more than a day, leaving them pining. He actually turns out to be a homosexual and stops dating the opposite gender completely, being completely confused on his sexuality. He remembers his closest ex-friend (either the Know-it-all, the Trickster or the Genki since they remember some friends), but they're not close anymore.

Isn't it fine to say that we are loved?
To be bound so the world may never but touch,
Isn't this, too, just fate and nothing more?
Fade away, fade away, I say to our love...


Character Sheet
Code: Select all
[size=300][color=HEX CODE HERE]NICKNAME HERE[/color][/size]
[img]DIRECT LINK HERE - ANIME ONLY[/img][/left]
[b][color=HEX CODE HERE]Full Name:[/color][/b]
[color=#4F4F4F]Character's full name, including middle names.[/color]
[b][color=HEX CODE HERE]Age:[/color][/b]
[color=#4F4F4F](17-21)[/color]
[b][color=HEX CODE HERE]Sexuality:[/color][/b]
[color=#4F4F4F]I don't mind, but everyone needs to know this.[/color]
[b][color=HEX CODE HERE]Appearance:[/color][/b]
[color=#4F4F4F]Anything not seen in the image, general facial expression[/color]
[b][color=HEX CODE HERE]Preferred Clothing:[/color][/b]
[color=#4F4F4F]Favourite clothing, and what clothing is worn to the ball[/color]
[b][color=HEX CODE HERE]Role:[/color][/b]
[color=#4F4F4F]You know, the characters?[/color]
[b][color=HEX CODE HERE]Love Interest:[/color][/b]
[color=#4F4F4F]You don't have to put this in yet. Just put none, or if they have an girlfriend/boyfriend, put his/her name.[/color]
[b][color=HEX CODE HERE]Skills:[/color][/b]
[color=#4F4F4F]Can your character draw? Use a computer like a pro?[/color]
[b][color=HEX CODE HERE]Personality:[/color][/b]
[color=#4F4F4F]What is your character like? (2-3 paragraphs)[/color]
[b][color=HEX CODE HERE]Distinguishing Features:[/color][/b]
[color=#4F4F4F]What makes your character stand out appearance-wise?[/color]
[b][color=HEX CODE HERE]Charm Point:[/color][/b]
[color=#4F4F4F]This can be appearance-wise, or personality-wise.[/color]
[b][color=HEX CODE HERE]Likes:[/color][/b]
[color=#4F4F4F]A list, at least 5[/color]
[b][color=HEX CODE HERE]Dislikes:[/color][/b]
[color=#4F4F4F]Another list, at least five[/color]
[b][color=HEX CODE HERE]Fears:[/color][/b]
[color=#4F4F4F]Phobia names. You can Google 'Phobia list' and you'll find a list of phobias. Say what the phobia is next to it.[/color]
[b][color=HEX CODE HERE]History:[/color][/b]
[color=#4F4F4F]Biography. (3-4 paragraphs)[/color]
[b][size=150][color=HEX CODE HERE]Theme Song name here[/color][/size][/b]
Theme song Lyrics here
[b]Other:[/b]


Rules
Here's the annoying, boring part! (Yay~!)
  • Leave godmodding to the gods.
  • Respect RoleplayGateway's romance rules. Yes, this has romance, but seriously. Go read the rules if you don't know them.
  • This is a literate roleplay. There's a word limit of at least 300 words every post. You can go over by as much as you want. Write 657,867,543,654 words if you want.
  • Have fun with this! It's a roleplay where old friends meet up and become friends again! Awkward situations are bound to happen!
  • Follow the character sheet. I won't accept you if you don't.
  • If you can't commit, don't submit.
  • Some real world things exist in Am Caillte. They just have different names. If you want to come up with an object, I'm going to make a 'Glossary OOC' so submit it and it's definition there~!
  • There will also be an OOC to discuss plot points.
  • Mozaik Role may NOT be your character's theme song! That's the roleplay's theme song.
  • Pocky.

Toggle Rules

The GM of this roleplay hasn't created any rules! You can do whatever you like!

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 3 authors

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eric Evernalt Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt Character Portrait: Ceridwen Nox
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Ceridwen


A small, rather childish sounding giggle surfaced from her lungs as Eden shook his head far too fast for someone who was ill, and wound up groaning as he held onto it. He really hadn’t thought that one through. Even those who aren’t sick would feel dizzy and woozy if they shook their head like that! Hand up to her mouth to suppress the wanted giggle fit, Ceridwen still could not deny herself the smile that came with it, the urge for one was too strong to retain. His hair was covering his face, so she couldn’t see the expression upon it, but the silver-haired girl couldn’t deny the fact that she felt nostalgic right now. Very much so. For as long as her memory could tell her, Eden had been this way about asking favors of others for a long time. He always got flustered, not liking to do it unless it was of Eric.

When it was that Eric called out to his older brother, getting his attention—he looked away from the wall, showing what appeared to be determination . . . along with a very flushed face, all that color was certainly not from just being ill. He looked at her, stubbornly before he about snapped a, “Goodnight Ceridwen.” at her. All that earned him was her sticking her tongue out at him in a playful manner; like she’d said, she wasn’t leaving until she found out what was wanted of her for real. She could well be as bullheaded as he was with this . . . and she could stay at her insistence upon the matter the whole of the night if that’s what it took. If Eden remembered anything about her from before they all drifted apart, it might be her stubbornness. That was one of her most prominent traits as a child. . . .

Lacing her fingers together at her front, she merely stood there, waiting, having a feeling that Eric was silently urging his brother just to spit it out as the latter put his hair back in a short ponytail. He tried to speak, only to forcibly clear his throat with a cough before finally getting something out, “Can. . . .” His voice seemingly gave out before he looked between herself and Eric, seeming as if he were desperate. “I-I don’t like asking unless there’s an emergency. Or unless it’s you.” Ceridwen’s eyes followed Eden’s finger as it pointed to the younger of the two brothers. Eric simply shrugged in response. That Ceridwen knew, she remembered how he was. The older dependent on his younger sibling in asking for things. . . . She understood how awkward and how hard it was for him to ask what he’d wanted of her, but she would still be a stubborn little ninja and wait it out anyway. Things could never be the same again, but she had to try to forgive Time for what it had done, and herself for letting it happen so easily. This was a new starting point.

Slowly, the girl let her lavender eyes travel back to Eden as he managed to choke the words out. “C-could you, erm, sing for me?” Her eyes went a bit wide at the request, she looked surprised, but she couldn’t help a happy laugh and a wide grin to form, her laugh coinciding with Eric’s. So . . . did Eden remember her singing from when they were children? Eric definitely seemed to . . . so, did that also mean . . . ? A truly warm smile took root on Ceridwen’s face, and she felt her face heat up just a bit. Though she was indeed happy that Eden had asked that of her, she couldn’t help but feel a bit abashed. Singing because she just felt like it, and being asked were two different matters, one was spontaneous and the other was because someone actually wanted to hear your voice. And Eden asking that of her especially . . . it gave her hope and happiness.

Although she was a bit embarrassed, Ceridwen didn’t miss the fact that Eric had brought his hand to his chest . . . like he was making a note of something. She remembered his past well enough, that fact that he’d been sick like her before, even if he had gotten better with time . . . Uwchben forbid a relapse, but something implored Ceridwen to keep that little action noted in her mind, and to ask about it later. Though Eric went on to pet Xander, as if nothing was off like normal, she couldn’t shake that. Rii’s not going to forget that . . . she hopes sincerely it was nothing of course, but it needs to be paid attention to. Xander was asleep, and in truth, the three of them probably should’ve been as well. . . . Even if all of them were now in their late teens, some things hadn’t at all changed—stick two or more of them in the same room together, and they wouldn’t sleep when they should.

Just like old times. But, there were some things from the old days that Ceridwen could do without; the bad things. Even thinking on those was enough to make the smile completely leave her face as a contemplative expression passed over her features in its stead. She had spent so much of her time just being a passive onlooker to all the bad things in the lives of her friends, and she had not once done anything to help end it. In a way, maybe she should be thankful for whatever weirdness had thrown herself and her friends into this otherworld; whatever it was, wherever, it gave them a chance to try again, to bond once more, this time, maybe without the bad. Time was maybe trying to make up for what it had started this way. Rii hopes, and she hopes that really is the case. She wants to see us all happy again, to be happy with everyone again . . . and this time intervene with the bad things.

“I can’t . . . sleep.” Hearing the awkward tone in Eden’s voice, she looked back at him, and mustered up a smile for her friend. He looked shy, and he was biting his finger . . . before he tried to sit up, only to sway and have to lie back down with a whimper, as he buried his face into the dog’s fur. Eric looked at her, before proceeding to poke Eden’s cheek. The response was him turning to look at herself and his brother, and to chew on his bandaged thumb. Eric pulled the thumb out of his brother’s mouth, reminding him he’d already bitten the blood out of it beforehand. That was a nervous habit he needed to work on breaking. Ceridwen hoped that Eden would recover from this illness soon, being stuck wherever they were, not knowing if there were doctors around, with him sick was bad.

Of all her skills, why couldn’t she have picked up on some medical ones? Sure, she knew how to relieve people of pain thanks to some random anatomical knowledge she’d picked up on a couple of years ago. Maybe if she had something more useful in that head of hers besides that, then she could actually be of some use to everyone right now. She could be sneaky, sing and knew about pressure points . . . yeah, useful stuff. Even if she couldn’t yet do much that was useful, she’d still managed to make friends when she was younger, and of even littler use due to her bouts of illness and her frailty. Even if Time had caused them all to drift apart, that truth remained true. And, if even Eric could still think of her as close, and want to keep her from crying then she still meant something, even as she was. . . . She had proved that she could be useless often, but starting from here, maybe she could do something.

Eden wanted her to sing for him, he couldn’t sleep. Even if singing wasn’t of much use, if she could help him sleep by doing so, that meant something at least. Though, it was still embarrassing to be asked to do it as opposed to wanting to do it just because. . . . She’d do it though, because Eden had asked her. He’d requested her to sing for him—and she’d do it. Because he managed to get those words out~ Rii will sing for him, until he can sleep. she smiled, as Eden suddenly sat up and Eric seemed to about jump out of his skin, and gasped loudly. Ceridwen herself about did the same as Eric. Safe to say that neither of them had expected that from him as he seemed to be feeling . . . not to mention, he was lolling back and forth while he barely managed to stagger over to a wardrobe.

Just staring at him with her eyes wide, a worried look on her face, Ceridwen didn’t really know what to think, or even what she was suppose to think while he fumbled through it for who knew what. She glanced over at Eric once, only to see that he was just watching his brother, looking curious as to what he was doing. Eden just clutched onto that wardrobe for support before he pulled something out of it, she could see a smile on his face before he came over to her, a coat in hand. Ceridwen just blinked before he draped the thing over her shoulders; the thing was thick and very heavy. This was why he’d gotten up . . . ? To get her a coat? Okay, so, her clothing was a bit light for how cold it was, and her leggings did have holes in them from when she’d slid down to him after he seemed to have a spell of unconsciousness. . . . But, he hadn’t needed to get up for that when he wasn’t well.

“You’ll catch a cold.” he said, his voice blatant and honest. In response, Ceridwen could only smile; Eden was as silly as ever. . . . Her hands traveled up to the sides of the coat, and she pulled it around her, grateful that he was thinking about her health, even if he was probably a bit loopy from a potential fever. The thought was a nice one to consider, and it made her happy. A friend looking out for her again . . . it was nice. Something she’d missed so dearly. She’d been alone so much in the last couple of years, mostly because of her own cowardice, just this simple gesture was enough to about overwhelm her with elation. Eric before had even hugged her because she’d been crying over her own stupidity. . . . It wasn’t the same as when they were kids, it’d never be, but the fact that they were concerned for her even this much, it was something that made her feel happy. Perhaps in time, she could bring Marie back to her old self, or at least bond with her enough to have a friendly relationship with. That’d be nice too. . . .

Although, Rii knows that promise that someone made to her may as well be forgotten despite everyone’s memories. That’s okay though, just having them back, caring at least is enough for her. she though while Eric laughed at his brother’s simple words, the irony.

“Yeah, you’re one to talk!” Eric laughed, while Eden simply lied down, looking confused. The former stood up, “Well, I’m gonna get my beauty sleep.” Ceridwen tilted her head to the side when he said that . . . so he was going to sleep now? While she might go ahead and sing? Would that work? Could he sleep like that or . . . ? What about when she needed to go ahead and head over to the cabin that she and Marie were to share? Eric hugged his brother, giving him a good night before he came over toward her, placing something in her left hand, causing her to glance down at it. “If you don’t want to sing, just give him this and he’ll sleep like a baby.” he whispered to her. In her hand was a piece of candy; Eden had always been one for sweets. But, when it was that Eric winked, and decidedly left the cabin, that Ceridwen actually understood.

“Ah. . . .” she started, blinking and staring at the door as it closed behind him. The girl simply stood there for a moment, coat over her shoulders, sweet in hand while she looked on quietly. That . . . that. . . . Okay, so she didn’t know quite what to say or think about Eric going and doing that to her; but for the love of Uwchben, why was he leaving her alone with his sick brother?! Even if he was going to sleep, whether she choose to sing or to give him the sweet?! Why did he leave her alone with him . . . ? And he winked too . . . even if he remembers Rii, and even if he did comfort me before, Eric’s now on Rii’s list for open pranking at some point in the future, after she asks him about why he seemed to be checking something out about his chest before. she sighed, eyes shutting as she closed her fingers around the candy, and lowered her arm back to her side.

Eric . . . even if they had been friends before, there were things about him that even she would never come to understand, like why he did this to her. He was sometimes random it seemed, although, there was usually a reason behind it all. Who did he do this for? she wondered, knowing he had to have decided to sleep in the same cabin as Marie instead of his brother for the sake of someone; either herself or Eden, for whatever the reason. The fact that she was going to have to sleep in the same cabin as Eden, alone with him, even if he was sick, that was enough to make Ceridwen’s face redden a bit. As kids, it’d been different for this sort of thing to happen, but she was seventeen now . . . and she got flustered about it. No matter how she acted or was. She sighed to herself, before turning to look at Eden, and smiling a bit. This was embarrassing to her, and weird, but. . . . She had something to do, didn’t she? “Eden did ask Rii to sing for him after all.” She murmured that to herself. Even if she had the option of not, she had already decided to go ahead and just do it anyway.

. . . .but Eric was still on her list.

Unsure if the boy was even awake anymore anyway, she quietly shuffled over to the side of his bed, and knelt down near him, still smiling. “Y’know that Rii’s actually happy that Eden asked her to sing for him? Even if it’s not easy for him to ask things of others, it made her smile.” She told him quietly, moving herself so that she was sitting comfortably rather than squishing her lower legs. “She doesn’t know why Eric left, just that he’s in trouble for it. . . .” Ceridwen mused, before she moved her hand out and grabbed onto Eden’s hand and set the sweet in it that Eric had given to her as a back-up plan in case she hadn’t wanted to sing. “Rii is sorry if her singing sounds awkward, she’s not used to singing for people when they ask it of her, but because it’s Eden, she’s happy to do it.”

Pulling her hand back to herself, Ceridwen cleared her throat nervously while her cheeks went red before she took in a deep breath, heart racing in her chest before she began to sing a lullaby she remembered. “The wind with words to say, the clouds I saw this day, now, it is time, let them fade away. . . .” Her voice was obvious nervous, but it was still gentle, and soft. “Flowers bloom gold and red here where I lay my head, down as the night comes from day. The sun which blesses me from heaven darkens to red as it falls through the sky~ I wonder if I’m just dreaming a soft, sweet dream. . . .”

“The birds fly through the sky the bugs to the fields as I walk with them on this road to home. The first stars shine out to guide us this night~ Leading us back to our home. . . .” Ceridwen smiled before she could finish the song, her voice having evened out, sounding as it should rather than timid. “The one place where I’m never alone. . . .” She went on humming a bit, singing the song again as it was a short one, doing so until she herself managed to fall asleep where she was, following after Eden who’d drifted off at some unknown point before her.

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BGM: Higan Retour ~ Riverside View - Amaryllis

I lay in my bed, staring up at the roof as the moon's silvery rays streamed faintly in from the tiny window above me. Try as I might, I just couldn't sleep. A mix of excitement and fear stayed my thoughts, and no matter how many times I shut my eyes or shifted to a more comfortable position, I simply was unable to enter the blissful unconsciousness I so desired, and I found my azure gaze always refocusing and searching the room around me.

It wasn't just that I was too excited by the sudden return of my old friends, although that was part of the problem. It was that I was... afraid, although I was a little reluctant to admit it. The room was dark, the moonlight providing only just enough illumination to draw the shadows around me into full relief, as though I were surrounded by a continuously writhing mass of featureless, consuming darkness, providing a blank canvas on which my various worries and anxious thoughts could paint themselves freely, giving life to my terror and strength to my fear. It might have seemed silly, but I couldn't help but realize that I was in an unfamiliar room in an unfamiliar place, and this made all the difference. In my room at the heart of my tower, I knew exactly what everything was, and where it was stored. I knew I was safe there, that it was my own little world apart from the scary unknown beyond its walls. But here, despite the fact that I had spent a large part of my childhood here, so much had changed that I couldn't help but be terrified by the overwhelming knowledge that I didn't know anything about this place... or what sorts of things might be here.

Worse yet, however, was the fact that I was alone. My friends had all gone to sleep in the other cabins on the ship, leaving me to my own devices here in the dark. There was nobody to keep me company, to drive away my fears, and nobody to help me if something were to happen during the night. That crushing feeling of solitude was even worse than my fear of the unknown world around me. During the day, and when I was at home in my safe, comfortable room in the tower, I felt powerful, like I could believe in myself. Right now, however, I was just a lone, helpless child, scared as I lay by myself amongst the frightening shadows of night time.

Finally, I could no longer take it. I rose shakily from my bed, and donned the pair of sandals I'd found in the chest of clothing. Nervously, I made my way across the room, keeping my eyes peeled for anything in the darkness and my hands raised, searching for the door that my poor eyes would not let me see. Naturally, I forgot completely about the fact that there were other things in the room too low for my hands to touch before I crashed into them, and after only about two steps, my foot caught on the edge of the clothing chest, and I quickly found myself tumbling to the ground for what seemed like the thousandth time that day. While it wasn't unusual for me to fall several times, it still caused me no end of frustration when it happened.

I gave a quiet squeak of fright, sure that something had just grabbed my leg and dragged me down. I practically bounced off the wooden floor, rising back to my feet in an instant and scurrying toward the door, my eyes darting around in the darkness as I searched for the invisible predator I was sure was about to attack me. When I realized that the only things in the room were shadows, I calmed myself somewhat, but the fear was still there, and I could no longer simply try to ignore it.

Embarrassing as it was to admit, I needed someone's company. My tired mind, remembering who exactly was on this ship, fixated almost immediately upon Eden, my closest friend of all, even if he didn't remember the time we had shared. I momentarily forgot the fact that he was sick and tired, and thus probably wouldn't be of much use as a comforter, although I had no doubt that his mere presence would have calmed my mind immensely. Reasoning thusly, I made my way out of the cabin, taking some slight reassurance in the moonlight that streamed down from above, giving my eyes a means of sight once again and helping me to avert the many accidents I doubtless would have suffered otherwise. Creeping softly across the rotten, damp wooden floor, I quickly made my way to the cabin opposite my own, in which Eden was staying. Silently opening the door, I tip-toed in.

To my surprise, in the half-light that filled the room from outside, I was able to quite clearly see that there was more than one shape at the cabin's center. Not only was Eden lying slumbering upon the bed, but Ceridwen, whom I had not in the least expected to see there, was lying on the floor by Eden's side, comfortably curled up near him. Why she was there, I couldn't begin to guess. Had she been unable to sleep, like me, and so come to seek attention and companionship, as I had? She hadn't been that sort of person, that I could remember, though. Maybe she had come to nurse Eden overnight, and make sure he was okay? That was a possibility, I supposed. They probably would have asked her, a friend they remembered and loved, over me, some stranger and outsider to their group, anyway, so it made sense they hadn't told me about it. Even still, though, wouldn't Eric have been the one to take care of his brother? That was how it had always been in the old days, so why would that role be relegated to Ceridwen all of a sudden? Maybe she had asked to? She was caring enough to do that, but still, it seemed a bit odd that, if Eden's health was a concern, Eric wouldn't be here too.

Well, I couldn't come up with a reason for it, regardless. I hesitated in the doorway, wondering what I should do. I couldn't just wake both of them up, asking if I could stay with them. That would have been both rude and embarrassing, and that ruled it out entirely. But, on the other hand, I couldn't sleep by myself. Being alone was scary. So... what should I do? A few moments of hesitation settled the matter. I... wouldn't bother them. I'd just be a burden, and they were both needed their rest. I'd just make do by myself, and handle my fears like I always did. That was the most I could do, for them, and for myself.

And so, I shut the door, and walked away. My feet tapped almost noiselessly against the deck as I wandered aimlessly out into the open beneath the mainmast, looking around myself with an air of sad reminiscence and resigned melancholy. It seemed that I wasn't going to be getting much sleep tonight, so I supposed that I'd just have to accept that fact and move on. Giving a quiet sigh, I wandered restlessly back and forth, pacing across the deck, seemingly the only thing alive in an empty world. Unconsciously, I found myself taking a hold of the somewhat tattered and twisted rigging, which, despite its age, was still firm enough to support my weight, and, carefully so as not to fall, climbing ever upward towards the crow's nest situated just beneath the tree branches above. I didn't really know why, but somehow, it seemed like it would feel a lot more like home if I were to go to a high place where I could look out and watch the stars, just as I always had every night from the balcony of my tower. The light of the moon was brightest up here, and its cold light somehow made me feel safe, despite how high up I was, how rotten the wood was, and how I was alone in an unfamiliar place. And so, I settled down, peering over the railing and out at the starlight reflecting off of the slowly rising tide as it lapped in against the shore. The sound of the wind rushing through the boughs of the tree above me, and the gentle lapping of the waves, made me feel at ease, despite the fact that I was still alone in a place I didn't understand. Bit by bit, I found myself singing myself to sleep, as I often did on nights when I felt particularly restless. It was just like I was back in my tower, and, for a moment, I forgot that there were other people on the ship who my voice might awaken - although this was unlikely, given how quietly I sang. Taking a deep breath, I slowly took up a quiet and reminiscent tune, a sort of dirge for the days that had gone by, never to return again. My voice was picked up by the wind, and wafted around me like some airy siren song, wrapping me like the blankets I had left behind in favor of this isolated perch.

BGM: Fukai Mori

"I'm sure that the heart I left behind still lies hidden in the heart of the deep, deep forest," I sang, my voice building slowly as my confidence surged slightly, and I let get of my inhibitions. As of right now, I was in my own little world, all by myself and free to do as I wished without being embarrassed by anything. "Exhausted, without the strength to keep on searching, people vanish into the infinite darkness. If my heart is so small, I wonder if I can see it even now?" In a way, these words suited me better than I'd have liked to admit. I'd left my identity as Marie behind, had lost it to the past. Now, I'd given up on searching for the life I had lost, letting it slip away from me into the darkness of my memory, which was the last place it would ever exist. Even as I tried to begin a knew life, that which I called "myself" was already disappearing, its happiness faded forever. It was sad to think about, and before I knew it, I found tears dropping from between my closed eyelids, even though my voice did not falter as I slipped off into unconsciousness just as Marie was fading into obscurity. Nobody else would cry for the life I had lost, so if this was to be the time in which I buried those things for good, there was only one person who could mourn, wasn't there?

"As we live on, we lose a little bit more. Shrouded in falsehoods and lies, we stand frozen to the spot, unable to cry out. The days pass by and change, without us even realizing how blue the sky really is..." I let my song trail off at that point, as I found my voice finally choked in my throat by the tears I could not help but shed. As sleep took me at last where I lay alone, and sadness consumed my old life, even at this hour of happy reunion, I gave a quiet, gloomy sigh, and with a final, almost inaudible murmuring, I passed into the hollow world of tragic, empty dreams.

End of the First Day: For You Who Departs...

"Fade away for now, my old self. Just... disappear. That's what they all want, isn't it? I'll remember you, even if I change, but... For now, fade away forever, Marie."

End of First Night

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Eden & Eric


Dango Daikazoku (Off Vocal)

Eden shot up with a start. He had remembered Ceridwen singing and then here he was, awake. It was a miracle, to say the least, and he did dream about birds so he had to thank Eric for that later. But when he looked to his side, he saw Ceridwen fast asleep on the floor. Had she fallen asleep too? From her own singing? No, probably not. Eden thought, scratching his head. He looked at the small girl, pondering for a second before standing up shakily. Maybe he could put the girl on the bed? After all, he wasn't using it anymore. But there was a high chance he couldn't carry her, despite how small she was, without help.

Of course, the boy wasn't just going to wake up his younger brother. Xander woke up slowly too, glancing at his owner and then the odd-haired girl on the floor. Eden shrugged and the dog padded off the bed quietly, being careful not to bark. Eden patted his head softly, smiling. "Good boy." he whispered. He was still wearing his pyjamas, but his dressing gown had been taken off and hung up on the wardrobe door, but there was no need for that right now. Still, he took it and wrapped it around his small waist like a child. As he could see from the small window near his bed, dawn had only just hit the horizon and most of the sky was still a cross between a midnight blue and a calming azure. Clouds hung over the sea, maybe predicting another storm later in the evening. Today, they would have to go poking around in that forest, but Eden didn't much feel like doing that. His eyes glided over the girl and he sighed. He'd have to try. 

Edging over to the girl quietly, Eden knelt down and stared at her. She was fast asleep, which was good. It gave him a lower chance of waking her. Eden placed his hands under her knees and upper back, struggling to pick her up a bit. Carefully, the boy placed her on the bed and smiled. I did it! he thought cheerfully, trotting over to the door. Xander followed quietly, staying close to his owner. The dog seemed to be going with the flow of being in another world and walked alongside Eden, a spring in his step. Mostly, he was just happy he hadn't been left behind. 

Sun hitting his eyes softly, Eden covered his face with his hand rapidly. Xander whimpered and Eden did the same, stumbling over and hitting his back against a wooden wall softly. Blinking softly, he opened his eyes hesitantly and breathed in the cool morning air peacefully. Maybe today, he would feel better from yesterday. As a quiet cough attacked his chest, he killed that thought in an instant. He didn't feel much better; he felt like he was on fire and wanted to jump into the ocean to cool off. Smiling at the thought, Eden pressed his hand to his throat. His body ached and he had a cough, but it was a rough cough and his throat felt fine. Talking wouldn't be a hassle, luckily, but having to think too much about answering people would just hurt his head. 

The sun had just about risen above the horizon, lighting the sapphire sand on the beach. The deck had mostly dried, apart from in corners, and Eden found himself looking up to stare at the tree. A flash of blue shocked him when a breeze settled in and he blinked incredulously. That. . . . That was Cleo, right? Of course. No other person has blue hair. Eden scowled at himself before looking at the ropes. He couldn't scale those. Could he? He didn't have great physical strength anyway and he had an illness, but the brunet was determined to climb up to see Cleo. But he should bring something up so he had a reason to be there or something. And then he noticed it, the birds gathering around the crow's nest.

Memories

She was fine, right?

Eden's stared at the crow's nest, almost blanking out, when his dog nibbled his thumb softly. It still caused a great pain due to the previous injury and he winced, before nodding at what his dog was trying to say to him. He stood on the ropes, grabbed on and began scaling the accent towards the girl. As his foot hit each line of the rigging, climbing higher at each turn, the boy found it increasingly hard to go higher. He had no specific fear of heights, but when he stood still, the vertigo would hit him and the world would swirl and colours would twist psychedelically. Eden shut his eyes, breathing heavily as he clutched onto the rigging. His head was spinning, but the crow's nest was only a few more steps away. He'd made it more than halfway, even when his dog would whimper and bark quietly. 

The boy paused, the rigging shaking as he did. He felt exhausted already, his body tired and limp, but climbing this thing proved to take more effort than it should have. Closing his eyes tightly, he smiled to himself, before stepping onto the rigging above. He opened his eyes, concentrating on the ropes instead of anything else. Naturally, Eden's speed increased slightly when he did this and he wasn't at all surprised when he reached the top.

Sheik's Theme

Eden's eyes rested on the girl as he climbed into the crow's nest awkwardly and he smiled, although the smile was minuscule, and rested his back upon the wooden thing behind him. His eyes scanned the girl, fast asleep like the smaller girl who he'd found in his room earlier in the morning. Her blue hair was still there, of course, but her light blue eyes were invisible under her eyelids and her face was unnaturally shiny; the sun failed to dry her tears. The crow's nest was pretty small, so no matter how much he scooted to the left, their knees would still touch. Quietly, he sat up a little to take his dressing gown off from around his waist and leaned over to lay it on the girl gently, covering her from the cold threatening to nip at her petite self. As he was on his knees, he balanced on one arm shakily and pulled her hair from her face. His hand glided over her slightly wet face, dabbing at it very softly.

"You let your smile break." he whispered, his voice no louder than something in the distance. From here up, the view was amazing. He could see the ocean, the perfectly blue sand which barely distinguished itself from the water, the way the sun rose tiredly over the horizon, as if annoyed at the repeating task of going up and back down. He could hear birds, or at least, he presumed they were birds. This was a different world after all. From what he'd read in certain books and what he'd seen in documentaries, depending on the region, animals did tend to sound different. There was a place, a small tribal area, where the jaguars sounded like toads and the toads sounded like dogs. Eden had found it weird, of course, but then he thought about how people would find it weird how the toads in Dianc Blodau sounded like jaguars. Then, his teacher had shouted at him for dazing off in class. 

Like that day in the classroom, Eden's eyes had lost their sparkle and he was in his own world of jaguars who croaked and rabbits who roared, until he heard his name being yelled. Judging by the uncharacteristic anger in his voice, Eric was not impressed. When Eden stood, almost falling over the edge in a sudden spell of vertigo, he saw his brother's face, looking angry. Judging by a guilty looking Xander and a tired Eric, he'd gone and woken his other owner in a fit of fear which was quite possibly the worst idea anyone had ever had. Waking Eric up early gave him a spiteful personality until he finally woke up and relaxed. Eden smiled down at his younger brother, attempting to cheer him up. It didn't happen.



"What the helldo you think you're doing?!" Eric roared, his voice filled with aggravation. As far as Eden was concerned, he was the only one who ever saw this side of Eric, save from his childhood friends. Speaking of childhood friends, he'd have to thank Ceridwen. The eldest put a finger to his lips, shushing the youth. "Don't you tell me to be quiet! Don't you dare!" Eden winced at his last three words; he'd heard those too many times. He sat back down next to Cleo this time, dazing off and curling up so he trying not to graze touch the sleeping Cleo and put his head in his knees. His breath shook, ragged as he ignored the loud ranting of his brother. 

He had to stop himself from shouting back, from getting angry and climbing back down to argue.

Heroism

It was a few years back when Eric had first truly gotten angry with him. Nowadays, it was a more frequent occurrence but it still scared the hell out of the older brother. Eric had simply flipped since Eden wasn't talking to him, or anyone, and he'd managed to go two months in a vow of silence. Eric had felt sorry for his older brother at first, but then he'd just gotten aggravated and he'd yelled and Eden almost cried, talking in such a flurry that Eric didn't know what to do, before Eden had left, slamming the door on the way out.

Eden bit on his thumb childishly, his other hand grabbing at his dressing gown and the pyjamas of the blue-haired girl seated next to him. Closing his eyes and blocking out the noise as he nuzzled the girl's arm, he failed to notice Eric had stopped having a go at him and he closed his eyes, happy at how cold Cleo seemed compared to him. Then, it hit him. It wasn't just him who was burning up; the girl had probably frozen while she slept outside. Eden looked shocked, prodding her in the face.

"Cleo." he said, his nonchalant voice seeming inappropriate for the worried look on his face. "Cleo, are you alive? Are you okay?" Eden asked, his middle finger still poking the girl softly on the cheek. 

The boy shut his eyes tightly, wondering why in Uwchbwen's name he hadn't thought of going back in and getting a blanket of some sort. She could be freezing up here; even if it was dawn, he could still feel chilly breezes grabbing at him softly.

When he looked down, Eric was gone, and all he saw was Xander lying down on the floor. 

Eric poked his head in the last cabin, the one Ceridwen should have slept in, and found it to be empty. He found her in Eden's room. Why she was there, he did not know. Heck, she was even on his bed! She'd probably fallen asleep while singing to Eden. He would have to tease her for it later on. 

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Character Portrait: Eric Evernalt Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt Character Portrait: Ceridwen Nox
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Ceridwen


She hadn’t hardly stirred when she’d been moved onto the bed from the cold, damp floor of the cabin. Though she had been roused from a deep slumber only slightly, it was enough to drudge her partly back into reality’s clutches, making her vaguely aware of the happenings in the world outside of her head as she still slept. Caught halfway between her dreams and reality, Ceridwen found herself alone, lost in a montage of memories and half-baked fantasies and thoughts from her own imagination. Her mind found itself pulled back to her childhood, to the happy times before everything fell apart, and broke into little pieces, and she found herself a cowardly on-looker to all the miseries her friends were left to undergo. The cold grasp of isolation and loneliness slowly began to envelop her fragmented heart again as things began to play out again, the times of childish joy progressing violently fast into the years where the laughs and happy shouts of her friends went silent, and she was left with only herself as company. So quickly, moving from that warmth and elation in those halcyon days, to the cold loneliness of the near-present. . . .

It hurt, seeing things move so quickly in front of her, playing out like a movie rather than memories. To everything, she had again become a simple watcher, unable to intervene, even if the reasons were different this time. Ceridwen found herself reliving her own shortcomings and her failings over again. And every moment of it was painful.

The withering fear that she hadn’t ever been aware of before came back to her, gnawing away at her body, her bones, it made her feel as if she were fading, like her body was slowly becoming dust. Then there were the moments where her pain and happiness came together as one, the torment of her anxieties and her failure to do anything for her friends in the last years connected with that long since gone glee. . . . Both together, she couldn’t describe how bizarre it felt. But, it wasn’t right, the feeling was all over wrong, sickening. One should never feel both joy and pain together like that, the two weren’t meant to coincide as that. That just enforced things for her all the more, if anything else. It made her realize just how twisted she had become in those last years after everyone drifted apart, after Time had placed a small crack between the four of them.

Watching over her friends while they suffered, never fully comprehending the magnitude of their pain, of what they underwent. . . . She always coming to think that they would be all right, or that things would work out for them fine without her stepping in to do anything, somehow it had always come to that conclusion. Always. The situation had never mattered, nor the problem she witnessed, for some reason, she had never been able to move herself to intervene. There had always been a fear lurking in the back of her mind, she had always been scared of stepping in. What if it caused them to hate her, or to think her strange for it . . . ? That had always been it. Yet, for everything she had believed in those years, Ceridwen had never thought herself a coward, or that she was afraid of anything. Only after being close to those she loved again, did it dawn on her at all. Only then was she able to understand the truth she’d hidden from herself for so long.

Her cowardice, her selfishness, her own damn idiocy. . . . All of it. And in those moments of betwixt sleep and consciousness, Ceridwen relived every now-painful moment caused by her weaknesses. It made her begin to writhe around on the bed Eden had placed her in, whimper, her face squelching up into a grimace as the pain and guilt weighed upon her chest so much that it was hard to draw air in. Her body began to hurt, to ache from it all too . . . and the heat, her own body producing a Hellfire to torment her for her sinful behaviors it seemed. This was all of her remorse. Wasn’t it?

Well, she didn’t know, she could barely think in that state, only know what she felt, what was the most prominent matter on her mind. She might’ve fallen asleep singing, happy to be with her friends again, but pain and guilt weren’t going to go away so simply. They were there, they were always there, simply lurking.

Eventually, the discomfort she felt was enough to bring her out of it, to pull her completely from sleep and into reality. But, it still wasn’t that simple, it didn’t feel right, everything felt so . . . weird. Her body almost felt as if it weren’t there, her arms and legs were heavy, almost numb, they didn’t want to listen to her when she tried to tell them to move. . . . The fact that she was on something soft, a bed, it didn’t help in her efforts to move, she sank into the mattress after all. Although her arms and legs almost were numb, and so heavy they were also . . . hurting? There was this constant, dull ache that permeated her limbs, running through her bones with every twitch of a muscle. That pain wasn’t just confined to her limbs though, it was spread out through the rest of her body, her middle, her head too. Her chest, it hurt. It felt so weighted down, and it was hard to breathe.

Then there was this, the fact that she also felt hot. She was burning up! Over her, there was something over her that was just making this worse. . . . But she couldn’t move to get it off her, her arms wouldn’t listen!

A whimper came from Ceridwen’s throat, her face one of discomfort, a streak of feverish color was running over the girl’s cheeks and nose while she attempted to move again. Finally, she managed to make a bit of progress, the heavy coat that had been wrapped around her form was removed from her body, it’d been encasing her like a chrysalis. . . . The freedom from the confinement of the hot material, and the cool air that met Ceridwen was a relief; it brought some comfort to her heated skin. The small girl managed to turn herself onto her back, her hair had come out of its braid at some point in the night, and her loose bangs were sticking to her damp forehead now as the girl found herself blankly staring at a dull ceiling.
Rii . . . Rii doesn’t feel so good. . . . she thought, a rather vacant expression taking hold on her face. Trying to breathe, there was a hitch in her lungs, a catch, and with her eyes widening, Ceridwen’s arm flew over her mouth as a painful cough erupted from her throat. It was a deep one, a harsh, dry one that shook her whole body.

Following it leaving, the girl’s arm barely found its way back to the side of her body, and a moan came from her, a lingering pain in her throat. Sick . . . ? Ceridwen started, Di-Did Rii get sick overnight? She had to have, there’s not another reason that she’d feel so bad if she were okay. There came a moan, Rii hasn’t been sick in a long time, not since she started coming out of her bad health as a child . . . she forgot how much it sucked.

What was she suppose to do like she was now? She’d become ill for the first time in years, and there was the fact that she wasn’t at home now, so she couldn’t just lie in her room until she recovered, no, she was caught in some foreign world/dimension with the people who used to consider her as family, and who she still did think of as family. Time just loved to screw people over, didn’t it . . . ? Another cough came from Ceridwen, and her breathing following was shallow, labored and painful.

This wasn’t going to be fun. What is Rii going to do . . . ? What is she suppose to do like this? What if she gets. . . . Worse? It feels like she already has a fever, and if that is right. . . . she gulped, feeling her heartbeat rise. She’s almost died from one before.

Things were quiet in the cabin for a few more seconds, until she heard the door to the outside creak, light bleeding in through the opening as a silhouette appeared in it. Ceridwen squinted in response to the sudden light, haphazardly turning her head to look at the door by instinct. She wasn’t sure who it was, but thinking on that made her remember that Eden himself was probably still ill, and she’d fallen asleep in his room while singing . . . and she was on the bed. . . . So, he must’ve wandered out and put her on there at some point before she woke up.

Ceridwen wasn’t sure, but she had a feeling. . . . “E-Eric . . . ?” she managed out, her voice weak.

Even that little bit of speech though, was enough to irritate her throat, and to cause another violent and painful cough to go through the girl, her arm getting thrown over her mouth again. After it finished, there was a sigh, followed with a soft sentence from her, “R-Rii thinks she might’ve gotten Eden’s cold. . . .”

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Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt Character Portrait: Marie "Cleo" Cleophel
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BGM: Screen

Poke. Poke.

I gave a quiet, unintelligible mumble and shifted slightly, shutting my eyes tightly to keep the sun from breaking between my eyelids. The light hurt. Since when had it gotten so bright? This was exactly why I usually stayed in my tower. The outside was so uncomfortable... Speaking of which, I felt stiff as a board, and cold as ice. I shivered slightly, pulling the mysterious blanket-like object that had been placed over me more tightly around myself, trying in vain to somehow warm myself up. Shifting where I lay against the railing of the crow's nest, I groaned quietly. It was no use. There was nothing comfortable to lie down on, just rough, hard wood.

"Cleo... are you alive? Are you okay?" That voice came from above me. I recognized it, but couldn't place it, my tired thoughts still trying to piece themselves together. But at that moment, I felt a very warm, soft object placed against my shoulder, and instantly, I realized that whatever that was, it was the solution to my current dilemma. If I could just get a bit closer to that warmth, maybe its source would be big enough for me to nestle up against? It would make a good cushion as well as a perfect heater, two things which I desired above all else at the moment. I disregarded the voice, my sleepy mind deeming it unimportant to the current situation and dictating my next course of action.

Slowly, weakly, I rose to a seated position, then flopped forward against something dark that blocked out the rays of the sun. I didn't open my eyes, but I knew instinctively that it was my new pillow. Curling myself up into a small ball, I snuggled up closely to the warm, soft surface before me, pillowing my head against its center whilst wrapping both it and the blanket-thing I had found draped over me when I awakened around myself. Quickly, I found the warmth returning to my body, and I couldn't help but observe how perfectly comfortable the position I was in was. My new bed was very yielding, and shaped so as to be the perfect thing to nestle up against. The wind through the branches above, the waves against the beach, and the cries of the seagulls made for a soothing lullaby, and the rays of the newly risen sun, as well as my new blanket, bathed me in warmth. For a moment, I was perfectly at peace, and was just about to drift off once more into blissful sleep when I thought of something. Wasn't it strange...? It was almost like I was sitting in someone's lap... And... that voice from earlier... Where had it come from? It had been from somewhere right in front of me. Right about where... my... new... cushion was....

BGM: Hane

With a quiet squeak of surprise, I shot backward, my eyes suddenly wide open as I quickly seated myself as far away from the "cushion" as possible. The warmth and color had abruptly returned to my pale cheeks, bringing them to a heat and color that was quite possibly more uncomfortable than their former chill. I raised my hands in an almost placating manner, waving them about frantically as though I was either hailing a passing taxi or trying to ward off each individual light particle that might reflect off of my face and reveal to my "pillow" exactly how embarrassed I was. "Ah! I'm s-sorry! Er, that is, what, ah, I didn't mean to... gah.... uu....!" All at once, I tried to cry out ten different apologies, stammering and babbling quite incoherently with embarrassment and confusion, my face only growing redder with each passing second as my voice trailed off into a wordless, shrill mumble. As I quickly gazed at the person I'd unwittingly sleep-glomped, I gave a quiet gasp of surprise. It was... Eden?! That wasn't possible!

"Eden?! What are you doing here?" I exclaimed, my mind only catching up to the present after I spoke. That was right! I'd gone down to the old ship yesterday, and been taken along with three of my old friends to a new and strange world. Eden was here, too, so there was no point in being surprised. But, I realized with trepidation and embarrassment, that reaction might tip him off to the fact that I actually already knew him. Quick, Cleo, cover your tracks, you fool!

"I thought you were sick!" I added hastily. "A-and... the wood's really rotten in some places! I-it's probably really dangerous for more than one person to be up here!" I squeaked, quickly trying to divert the subject from both my humiliating actions the moment before, and from my rather suspicious comment immediately afterwards. Augh, I was such an idiot! What was I thinking, acting so shamelessly? Not to mention being so totally clueless... I mean, I never said I was a morning person in the least, but still! Even half-asleep, this was a whole new low for me! I'm so stupidstupidstupid!

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Character Portrait: Eric Evernalt Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt Character Portrait: Marie "Cleo" Cleophel Character Portrait: Ceridwen Nox
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Eric


The Sixth Stop

Eric looked at the small girl. She seemed to be awake, if only slightly, and he was just about to tiptoe out of the room when he heard a meek voice. “E-Eric . . . ?” The boy looked up from the wooden planks on the floor. The girl coughed violently and Eric rushed into the room, crouching by the bed with wide eyes. “R-Rii thinks she might’ve gotten Eden’s cold. . . .” Eric blinked, before laughing awkwardly and trying to hide his small fear. He'd gotten used to Eden getting ill; the boy hardly left the house so of course he would catch illnesses and colds as soon as he got near another Am Caillte being. But when other people got colds, a fear would arise and build up through his body quickly, taking over any other emotion trying to mask it. Also, he hated getting ill himself, since he knew Eden would freak out to the point of making himself ill.

Memories flashed back to the day when Eden had been screaming and crying, Miranda trying to pull him away. He remembered his face, the pure terror on his face which would put him in a state where he would faint every once in a while, an echo of his shouts. It was terrifying for both the boys, so much that Eric almost felt their roles of older brother and younger brother flip in that one time. He'd become the comforting one, the one who solved all the problems. And then one day, Eden had just arrived, only to say goodbye and leave. He returned in over half a year.

The youth's hand subconsciously flew to his chest, his heart, and he breathed heavily. He sat so he was kneeling. "I'm sorry Ceridwen, but why did you sleep here anyway?" he said quietly, his voice showing an oddly shy side of him. He twiddled his thumbs, before setting them on his lap and clasping them together, aware of his annoying habit. Eric unclasped them, to put a hand on Ceridwen's forehead. He sighed to himself. "Now I just don't know what to do." he said to himself, before bringing his thoughts into his head. I needed to go out to find some medicine, but now that Eric and Ceridwen are ill, I can't just leave them behind. Leaving Cleo with them would be harsh, but I can't make her carry Ceridwen. Maybe. . . Maybe she'd be fine staying with Eden. Eric thought, placing his head on the bed.

Ah. Headache. he thought glumly, sighing. He felt a million thoughts running through his head all at once and he sat up suddenly, breathing out to make his mind clear. His eyes glanced back to Ceridwen, before he smiled mockingly. "Ah, I see you still can't take a simple cold." He said, grinning. Of course, it was quite obviously a mask, one which vanished quickly.

"Do you. . . ." Eric's voice trailed off, the silence almost torturing him. ". . . . want me to carry you anywhere?"

Eden


Natsukage

Eden simply blinked at the girl as she cuddled into him. Being the morning and all, his hyper vibe had died off and he was right back to the socially awkward being whom he was. He didn't feel any embarrassment, but the added body heat made him breathe heavily, his head spinning. The girl seemed to be only half conscious, but with him burning up and her body gradually getting warmer, Eden would have to wake her so as not to pass out. She was only on his lap though, so maybe he'd be able to endure.

Just as quickly as she'd landed on him, she flew off like a rabbit jumping from predators. "Ah! I'm s-sorry! Er, that is, what, ah, I didn't mean to... gah.... uu....!" Her voice melted into a small whisper, a mumble, and Eden raised an eyebrow, wondering what had gotten into the girl. Had she had an epiphany? Maybe as she arose from her snoozing state, she realised that he was a person and not just a soft, cuddly figment of a dream?

"Eden?! What are you doing here?" Cleo sounded shocked, but familiar. He couldn't place her voice and before he could ask something like "Do I know you?", the girl was speaking yet again.

"I thought you were sick!" Eden frowned at this, a small pout forming on his lips. "A-and... the wood's really rotten in some places! I-it's probably really dangerous for more than one person to be up here!"

The brunet grabbed her hand again, bringing it to his chest. "I'm not sick, see? My heart's fine, so I'm not sick!" Eden soon calmed himself, letting go of the girl's hand slowly. "While I do admit the scale was frightful, I had thought you had died and decided to check." He said, before turning to his side and coughing violently into his hand. Eden bent over, gasping for breath once the loud cough had left his body, he looked up at the girl, his eyes filled with pain-caused tears which refused to fall and he took three deep breaths before leaning back onto the wood behind him. The boy bit on his thumb thoughtfully, ignoring the added pain of the wound from the day before and sighed.

After staring at the wooden planks holding the nest together, Eden looked up at the girl with an odd, childish fear which basically screamed the fact that he was about to say something strange. "You're not dead, right? This isn't just a premonition in my dream and in real life, you are actually dying?" He stared into her eyes, leaning forwards and pinching her cheeks.

"Hey, why'd you cry?" His voice softened considerably, but the look in his eyes remained the same; normal and stoic. He knelt on all fours so he was face to face with the girl. He stared, his gaze not leaving hers before he looked down at the planks. She's right, but. . . . I can't get down right now. he thought glumly.

With a sudden idea, Eden grabbed the girl's shoulders and spun her quickly, before pulling her shoulders down. In this new position, she had her head on his lap much like he had his head on hers the night before. He leaned over, peering into her face, before saying "Would you like to hear the story of the 'Tree Who Had No Nests'?". The story, a short one, was one his mother had invented when Eden was a small child. Ever since, he'd believed it was a well known story, but his friends and, to his own disbelief, little brother had proven him wrong.

Charle's Promise

"See? It's a nice story, isn't it?" Eden said calmly, his small voice carried along the ship. The three younger children stared at him, their eyes wide, before one of the girls began crying. The eldest blinked, before stuttering quickly, not knowing what to do. Eric had grabbed onto his leg, rendering him almost immobile, and the smallest one, Ceridwen, was just sitting, thinking hard. Eden knelt down to Marie, patting her head. "What's wrong? Haven't you heard that story before? It's really popular." he said, getting odd looks from the three.

Eric was the first to speak. "I've never heard that one." he said, a big smile plastered on his face while the two girls nodded. Eden looked shocked beyond belief and the little brother's smile disappeared as his brother's confusion slowly turned to anger.

Eden breathed heavily to keep his composure. "Mother only left a few years ago and you're telling me you've forgotten her stories? She said that one was the most popular. She never lied, Eric. You know that." He had managed to keep his voice quiet, albeit shakily. Eric just stared at him, not saying a word.

"Maybe what she meant was that it was the most popular between her brothers and sisters. . . ." came a timid voice and Eden spun around, looking at the owner of the voice. Ceridwen was nodding in agreement with Marie's statement, yet Eden backed away from the three who were now discussing how nice his mother was before she left. He sat at a considerable distance away from them, going over the exact words of the story, assuring himself he'd never forget them, no matter what. Not even if his stepmother, Miranda, forced him to. Ever.


Eden smiled to himself. He'd gotten it memorised down to every syllable and even how it was said. "If I tell you the story, maybe I can lull you back to sleep?"



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Character Portrait: Eric Evernalt Character Portrait: Ceridwen Nox
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Ceridwen


With a huff, she managed to get herself onto her side, facing Eric. The world felt so . . . strange, her body was hot and cold at the same time, and it hurt while it also felt like it was half-numb. Everything was a mess of contradictions right now, things hurt and they didn’t or she was too heated or things were too cool. It had been so long since she’d come down with something like this, that she had forgotten how weird it was, and what it was that happened to her anytime something managed to bypass her immune system. It had been years since she’d succumb to anything, not since something had spontaneously changed in her body, and left her as healthy as a duck. But, maybe getting soaked to the bone, and then letting herself stay sodden for a while after before conking out in the room of someone who was sick, right near them nonetheless, that was just asking for it really.

Especially given her history, she was just taunting the germs, daring them to invade her little body, and to get her ill. Eric had laughed in a rather discomfited manner after she revealed she might’ve gotten Eden’s cold, he could try to hide it all he wanted, but she knew better already. She remembered a lot from when they had been growing up . . . his fear. He always had a fear when it came down to other people falling ill, given his history, he couldn’t be blamed for that reaction. It was reasonable in its own way, and it wasn’t as if Eric let it consume him completely, he always did his best to nudge the fear out of the way, or to downplay it.

Given her own history, maybe she should have been the same way, but for some reason she had never been able to be afraid when it was that others were ill, maybe it was just because she had been there so many times herself, getting worried when others were ill, if only for herself, seemed pointless. Worrying for them for their sake made sense but otherwise. . . .

Ceridwen’s eyes were drawn to Eric, and she observed him in her silence, still feeling like her body was going every which way as far as sensations went at the moment, pain, numbness, heat, cold. . . . It wasn’t stopping, and she wasn’t sure, but it felt like it might’ve been trying to worsen. In short, the girl felt like she was weak, like her body was just without any strength left in it now, when she had been full of it before. Maybe that was partly also because she’d slept on the floor. Her sleep had probably not been very restful. With her eyes still on her old friend, she saw Eric’s hand fly to his chest, over his heart as his breathing became labored for more than just a moment. Was that because of anxiety, or was it because of something else? A soft cough escaped from her though, not as violent as the one before had been. It still hurt though, and her breathing was tight, she wasn’t sure but she felt like she was wheezing some; during the quiet following the cough, she almost thought there was a sort of whistle-like noise coming from her chest.

When it was that Eric knelt down, looking like he’d more intended to sit rather than that, Ceridwen removed her mind from the matter of her breathing and found herself shrinking back from him as much as her body would allow. She didn’t want him being this close to her when she wasn’t feeling so well, sure they’d been closer as children when her body had given into her health, but. . . . Now, the thought of it, it sort of made her feel funny. Like, it made her feel apprehensive, anxious . . . maybe embarrassed? But why embarrassed? There was no reason for that, Eric was an old friend to her, someone who she did care for very much like family, so there was no reason for embarrassment.

Her already flushed face darkened in color, and became hotter than before, she could feel it. A part of her did not want him this close to her when she was sick, not to . . . see her like this. That’s . . . new. Rii can’t remember ever feeling that before, not with anyone. she thought, nervously clearing her throat as she tried to ignore the sentiment, and the weirdness she was feeling.

“I'm sorry Ceridwen, but why did you sleep here anyway?” Eric asked that, causing her draw her lavender eyes back up to him curiously. The edge his voice carried was . . . odd, something she definitely wasn’t used to hearing from him of all people. It sounded almost, well, shy. And from Eric, that was something more than foreign. Why did he seem so meek about that matter? He was the one who’d left her in Eden’s room before popping out to go sleep elsewhere. . . . She simply blinked, her brain not even fully processing the fact that her friend was acting sort of weird about that question. When it was that younger Evernalt’s hand made contact with her forehead though, Ceridwen was snapped fully back into reality, and a soft yelp came from her as she completely tensed up at the touch.

Her eyes went wide, and she blinked several times, biting down on her lower lip, her breathing caught in her throat. So, she knew that he still did care for her and such, that much had been proven last night when it was evidenced that he remembered her from their childhood, parts of it, at least, but the fact that he just seemed a bit meek about why she was still in Eden’s room. . . . The fact that she felt weirder now than she could explain, that was something Ceridwen didn’t understand. Maybe it was because of the fact that they hadn’t been around each other like this since they were both kids, it’d been years, and suddenly being around Eric again might feel strange to her. . . . She’d isolated herself from others in this way for so long, that perhaps she had become uncomfortable with it in that time. Maybe it should feel strange, but should Rii really feel this strange? she thought, eyes still wide.

The sick little silver-haired girl found her body bringing itself into the fetal position, bit by bit. Her legs were bending upward, coming toward her torso while her hands formed loose fists, and found themselves lying at the front of her body. Those eyes of hers were no longer wide, but were laced with a sense of uncertainty, meekness not native to them. Having him this close made her feel really peculiar, even with the cold. . . . Why . . . ?

“Now I just don't know what to do." she heard him say that to himself, his hand off her forehead. She didn’t understand what Eric meant by that, but her getting sick had obviously interfered with something he had planned. . . .

He lied his head on the bed—her still looking at him shyly. This was . . . nostalgic. It felt familiar. Very much so, like her body could remember something her mind couldn’t completely. It took her a moment, for her brain to process it as it was, the memory. The promise, that. She couldn’t remember who made it to her still, but, the way things were right then, it made her feel the moment so very clearly. And still, it left her feeling shy toward Eric, him being so close.
A gloomy sigh escaped from him though, before he suddenly sat up and looked at her, putting an obviously fake smile on his face. It was a mocking one; and she knew what he was trying to do, to clear his thoughts. “Ah, I see you still can't take a simple cold." he tried to tease her with a grin, but that fell away pretty quickly. . . . She knew it would. “Do you. . . .” He tried to start talking again, the tone in his voice very different this time, along with the expression his features carried. They were sincere this time. That was what she was wanted to see out of him, her friends again. . . . Sincerity, honesty, them happy.

Eric stayed quiet for almost a minute, and Ceridwen simply stared up at the brunette, almost cracking a smile through all she felt. For all she saw him do in the last years, and knew he had done, and even with how charismatic a boy Eric could be . . . it was like this that Ceridwen thought him the most interesting really, because he wasn’t forcing something out, or trying to charm anyone. He was just himself, “. . . . want me to carry you anywhere?" he finally finished. Hearing what he had wanted to ask, it did make the little teenager crack a smile, a happy exhale came from her lips. That was so hard for him to get out? This was weird, she felt strange toward him now, it wasn’t a bad feeling, but it was just weird, something she wasn’t used to. She didn’t understand it, but. . . . Part of her didn’t want to.

Eric is so . . . silly. A soft cough came from her as she struggled to gather her voice again, her cheeks were still a deep shade of red from both fever and her shyness. “Wh-where would Rii go? Everyone and she are all stranded on an island with blue sand~” she giggled a bit, sounding weak. “Is there anywhere to go on an island with blue sand? Rii doesn’t know if there is. . . .” Ceridwen went on, voice wavering, and nervous. There was a sigh from her before she returned to a question asked before, the one that had Eric sounding shy. “Eric asked Rii why she slept in here before? Sounding timid about it no less . . . Rii doesn’t know why that was, but she only slept in here because she dozed off after she sung to Eden for a while. She had been on the floor though, Eden must have moved Rii onto the bed before he left.”

Another cough escaped from the girl’s lungs after she finished speaking, and she shivered a bit, still both hot and cold as those odd feelings toward her old friend remained, along with the nostalgia of a promise almost forgotten.

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Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt Character Portrait: Marie "Cleo" Cleophel
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Eden gave me a look of frustration and, clutching my hand suddenly, pressed it immediately against his chest, giving me yet another insistence that he wasn't sick. That was all well and good, and I trusted his judgement, but I could feel exactly how hot he was just by touching him through his clothing. If he wasn't sick, then what was wrong with him? Maybe he was just trying to make me feel at ease by insisting that he was alright? Well, while I didn't want to let his valiant effort not to trouble me go to waste, I couldn't help but feel that I was being awfully selfish by forcing him to take such pains for my sake, not to mention cruel by ignoring the fact that he was ill.

"W-well, if you're not sick, then..." I didn't get any further, for my quiet voice was stifled by Eden's as he once again spoke, this time sounding rather indignant and offended.

"While I do admit the scale was frightful, I had thought you had died and decided to check," Eden said in a manner rather uncannily similar to the way in which heroines in light novels try to deny their affections towards those close to them, this realization supplementing the blush that had already formed on my red cheeks with new embarrassment. What was with that weird comparison, anyway?!

"E-er... no... I'm alright... If I was dying, wouldn't I be on the-" I stammered shyly, trying to change the subject before I got a strange mental image of something I'd be better off just not thinking about. But, even as I tried to placate my friend, I found my voice drowned out again, this time silenced by a sudden, loud cough as Eden doubled over, covering his mouth. I was by his side in an instant, gazing worriedly down at him as he slumped back against the railing. "A-are you alright?" I asked nervously. However, my question seemed to be ignored, for Eden was quite clearly deep in thought about something, as he bit down on his thumb inquisitively and furrowed his brow in contemplation, sure signs that something of grave import had just occurred to him.

Then, his eyes widened slightly in fear, and he looked up at me with the same worry that was doubtless written across my face as I gazed down upon him. Just as I was about to ask what was wrong, he suddenly rose before me, leaning in so abruptly that I gave a quiet squeak of surprise and fell back to a seated position against the railing opposite him. He continued moving forward until he was practically lying over my fallen form, his face on a level with and rather uncomfortably close to my own. But, despite the embarrassment that flared within my now rapidly beating heart as he reached up to my face and pinched my cheeks, the fear that showed on his countenance and in his nervous voice was earnest concern for my well being. While I didn't really understand why he was so scared for me, given his own condition, it gave me a great deal of relief and happiness to see that my old friend was kind enough to treat me with such compassion, even if I had been nothing but trouble to him in the past. It almost brought tears to my eyes.

"You're not dead, right? This isn't just a premonition in my dream and in real life, you are actually dying?" He asked quietly, prompting me to quickly shake my head. "N-no!" I exclaimed hastily. "I'm alright, really!" I gave a nervous smile to show that I was in earnest. "Normal things like the cold wouldn't make me die." Even though I said this, I didn't really believe it myself, for I couldn't shake the ever-present fear that my body would simply stop working some day, leaving me alone to die unnoticed. Still, I'd started, and the only way to seem like I was convinced of my own vivacity - and thereby, the only way to reassure Eden - was to keep on talking so he might not realize the trepidation in my voice.

"I'm safe from stuff like that, because I'm-" I stopped abruptly. "Because I'm a witch," I'd been about to say, but I automatically halted my tongue before it did anything to jeopardize me. Memories of all the times I'd spoken of my identity flooded my thoughts, and I could feel myself blanch slightly before flushing an ever-brighter shade of crimson. Laughter, insults, derision, and scorn filled my ears, the sounds of my memories, and of my shame. If I said I was a witch, would Eden laugh too? Would he believe me? Or would he remember the Witch of those days, and realize who I really was? It didn't matter in any case. I couldn't bring myself to tell him, regardless of what the answer would be.

"A-anyway... I'm fine..." I mumbled weakly, allowing a cascade of silken blue strands to fall over my gloomy, shame-ridden countenance. Fortunately - or unfortunately, perhaps - Eden seemed to have noticed something else about my face that had caught his attention. Drawing back his hands from my cheeks, he gazed intently at me, his face serious as always as he spoke once more, his voice quiet and calm enough to be mistaken, perhaps, for the wind that wrapped itself gently around us.

"Hey, why'd you cry?" He asked suddenly, causing me to recoil slightly with surprise. He had noticed? Crap! I needed a good excuse for why I had been crying last night, or else he might notice that something was weird? Because I felt lonely, stranded in a supposedly strange place, with people I supposedly didn't know? While that was a fine justification in theory, it sounded way too similar to my original "because I'm alone" comment to not be suspicious to him. Then... because I'd had a bad dream? Another seemingly valid excuse, but then wouldn't I have been crying after I had woken up? Not to mention the fact that he'd seen me wake up, and I had acted far too relaxed and cuddly to be scared to the point of tears by a nightmare. Then, perhaps something simple and mundane could be the reason? Yes, I think I'd found a good reply already.

"A-ah... It was really windy up here last night, and so my eyes must have teared up a bit," I lied quietly, averting my eyes from Eden's sharp gaze, which somehow felt like it would stare right into my very heart and discern the truth from my rather poorly executed falsehood. I prayed he would think I was just ashamed and wouldn't pursue the subject, but leaving my cover up to mere hopes was way too much of a risk to not make me fear for the future.

Suddenly, my reverie was broken by a pair of small but strong hands touching firmly down upon my shoulders. Eden drew back abruptly, pulling me with him and spinning me about with the speed of a whirlwind, somehow managing to gently pillow my head in his lap with such astonishing quickness that I didn't even realize what was happening until my surprised blue eyes were staring up into Eden's deep brown eye - one of them was covered by his hair, so I couldn't really see it - which, although now distant enough from me to bring me some ease, was at such an intimate angle that I didn't feel an ounce less embarrassed. He said something unintelligble, and, overwhelmed as I was by how much he seemed to be changing from one subject to another, I could only stare up at him with no small confusion, and make a very weak, pitifully shy inquiry.

"E-eh....? W-what are you...?"

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Character Portrait: Eric Evernalt Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt Character Portrait: Marie "Cleo" Cleophel Character Portrait: Ceridwen Nox
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Eric


Deep-Sea Girl (Piano Arrangement)
Eric looked down at Ceridwen, the poor girl. She had obviously caught Eden's cold, but it still baffled him as to why she hadn't slept in the cabin literally across the hall. “Wh-where would Rii go? Everyone and she are all stranded on an island with blue sand~” The girl giggled quietly, her voice sounding small and petite. “Is there anywhere to go on an island with blue sand? Rii doesn’t know if there is. . . .” Eric shrugged. Unfortunately, he had no idea either, but he couldn't exactly say "Oh, don't worry. We're just going to go venture into a forest without any weapons for hours and maybe get caught by the island natives, if there are any.". No, out of the question.

A sigh brought him to his senses. “Eric asked Rii why she slept in here before? Sounding timid about it no less . . . Rii doesn’t know why that was, but she only slept in here because she dozed off after she sung to Eden for a while. She had been on the floor though, Eden must have moved Rii onto the bed before he left.” The youth frowned, pushing the tips of his fingers together awkwardly.

Could Eden have moved Ceridwen onto the bed? The boy was already a thin, weak thing in the first place, so was he able to carry anyone? Especially with a cold. . . . Then again, Ceridwen was the smallest person he knew, so maybe it was possible. Eric shrugged to himself, blinking at Ceridwen. "To be honest, I was going to explore this place, but that seems near impossible. If Cleo stays with you, then there's the possibility of you getting attacked if the island is inhabited. I can't make you and Cleo go; that's just the same situation. I can't just go with Cleo, since that would leave the two ill people. Naturally, if I go alone and get attacked, Eden will probably break down." Eric paused, longer than a minute and rubbed his eyes with his thumb and his index.

"I really don't want to take you out, Ceridwen, but. . . . You and Eden will probably need medicine, and it's the only thing I can think off. They should really provide doctors on these long trips to unknown places. There's also the chance this place is deserted, or that we'll get lost. Obviously, we can't all go; that leaves the ship without protection."

Eric sighed, looking up at the ceiling of the cabin. If you looked at the boy, you probably wouldn't think he'd go through so many possibilities in his head. Yet, he was still the brother of Eden, a boy who had never gotten less than ninety percent on his papers, even as a young child, and he possessed the ability to achieve the same.

The boy looked down from the ceiling into Ceridwen's unnaturally violet eyes. Unlike his elder brother, he had a tendency to think too much eye contact was just a pure blend of awkwardness, so he looked away after a few seconds. Well, he was half right, compared to Eden! He twiddled his thumbs, before putting his hands at his sides.

One habit which ran throughout the two Evernalts is fiddling with their hands. While Eric resorted to messing around with his hands before stopping shortly, Eden usually bit his fingers and bent them back sometimes, as well as digging his nails into his palms and playing the 'piano' (making odd patterns with his fingers). However, both would bite their lips when nervous, or sway their bodies from side to side when happy, and it was at times when both did the same thing when it was truly obvious that they were brothers to the core.

Eric smiled brightly, though it was the smile he'd flash at people in school when they asked how he was when he'd just spent ten minutes trying to convince his brother to go to school, or when the teacher would ask why he wasn't listening. However, his smile brightened and became more genuine when he grinned fully. "Oh, it's fine. We can just all go; who'd want to steal this old, derelict ship anyway?" he questioned, placing his hands on his hips triumphantly, though he did have a small worry alarm going off inside his head.

The older brother sighed, for maybe the trillionth time that day, and leaned down over Ceridwen, picking her up as if she were a small child. "So, where would her majesty like to visit?"

Eden


His eyes glanced over the girl on his lap, his eyes drifting from hers and up towards the sky. It seemed like today would be a nice and sunny day, though it would be hard to tell the weather when he could feel the cold like needles piercing into his skin. His hands cupped Cleo's face, attempting to warm her up. Eden shut his eyes, only opening them t the sound of another voice.

"E-eh....? W-what are you...?"

Happy Synthesizer (Guitar)

Eden smiled down at her, leaning over fully so he was staring directly into her eyes, though upside down. He should change the subject. After all, he had to keep that story to himself, for words could easily be stolen with magic, and he most certainly believed in that. As a child, he hadn't, until he'd met the little brown haired girl in a park, tired and worn out on the way home. She was crying, because her magic hadn't worked, but it had! If it hadn't, he never would have decided, in a spur of the moment, to go that way back home, even if it was longer.

He blinked down at the girl, both eyes visible from below since his fringe was hanging in front of his face. With a fading grin, Eric placed the girl carefully so she was lying upwards and facing the sky, before lying down next to her. "Ah, I feel like melting." he said, a small sigh escaping his lips before he tried to hold in the cough shaking his body. He turned the other way, coughing violently into his hands. Breathing heavily, he groaned and turned back over, his chest rising and falling in a shaky, nonrhythmic pattern as he struggled to catch air.

"Aw." he said, the word escaping more as a whine than anything else. "I don't want to be ill, Cleo." he said, staring into her light blue eyes. His shoulder drooped as he sat up, sulking like a small child who'd had a toy taken off him and started biting his thumb, or rather, the bandage-like material wrapped around his thumb. Eden looked at the little bow, like one a girl would have, tied perfectly into the material to keep it in place.

He frowned. "Eric is so weird. He ties bows like a little girl, yet brings girls home all the time. What a weird person." he said, sighing. Eden, suppressing a small cough, dazed off deep in thought, his eyes going blank and empty, as always. For once, however, he wasn't thinking about something completely irrational and was rather thinking about Eric and his odd tendencies.

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Character Portrait: Eric Evernalt Character Portrait: Ceridwen Nox
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Ceridwen

She looked at him as he pressed the very tips of his fingers together; there was an air of unease about him. Her hand had moved back down to at her front, lying on the bed. Eric looked as if he was contemplating what she’d said, perhaps wondering if it were right. Ceridwen understood why, Eden had never been the strongest person in the world, even with someone as light as she was, he might have had trouble getting her up long enough to leave her on the bed. There wasn’t much to think about there though, there was no way she would’ve been able to get up onto the bed as she was now. And it wasn’t as if she had slept on the bed all night. . . . No, the fact that she even had fallen asleep in Eden’s room in the first place, even if it were on the cold floor, was sort of awkward enough. It even had Eric sounding shy in his questioning . . . and he was the one who had a reputation as a flirt and a heartbreaker.

Regardless of this though, Ceridwen simply kept her eyes on her friend, watching him in his seemingly awkward thoughts. She felt really . . . bad. Heavy and sore, and her breathing was very tight. "To be honest, I was going to explore this place, but that seems near impossible. If Cleo stays with you, then there's the possibility of you getting attacked if the island is inhabited. I can't make you and Cleo go; that's just the same situation. I can't just go with Cleo, since that would leave the two ill people. Naturally, if I go alone and get attacked, Eden will probably break down." So . . . that’s what he was contemplating over? Stuck on island with blue sand, and he was worrying about that sort of thing. Did he really think that they were still in their own world after what had happened? There was no way that this was Am Caillte. The ship had suddenly just been cast out to open seas without so much as a warning or a reason. . . . They’d gone through a storm only to wind up beached upon an island seemingly immune to the outside world’s weather, and it had blue sand.

Eric rubbed his eyes with his thumb and his index finger, seemingly exasperated. "I really don't want to take you out, Ceridwen, but. . . . You and Eden will probably need medicine, and it's the only thing I can think off. They should really provide doctors on these long trips to unknown places. There's also the chance this place is deserted, or that we'll get lost. Obviously, we can't all go; that leaves the ship without protection." When it came down to it, Eric really was something of a thinker, more so than he let on. Honestly. But, at least he was thinking about these things so much, and was so concerned too . . . not just about Eden, but about her and Marie too. Even if things were never like they were when they were kids, it was still nice. Nostalgic, for certain. It made a small smile tug at the corners of her lips as she lay there quietly.

The teenager went quiet, looking up at the ceiling. She knew it well enough, what most people would think about him, that he wouldn’t at all go into so much detail or depth about what could happen, the possibilities of the circumstances at hand. He didn’t seem the type, but he’d been like this since she could remember. He was thinking a lot more than people realized. . . . Eric was intelligent, very much so. Just like Eden was, even if it didn’t always show, Eric was a very bright boy. He made eye contact with her for a few seconds, still quiet. Ceridwen maintained it too, until he looked away . . . did he still think that too much of that was awkward? Eric’s still . . . yeah, he’s still. . . . she thought, a small laugh came from her throat.

He was nervous, wasn’t he? Honestly, she didn’t really understand why that was. Nothing about the situation seemed like it should make him feel so much. . . . Ceridwen, she knew that Eric had as many quirks when it came to being nervous as Eden, both had some commonalities there, and both had some unique aspects. However, the smile came from him, that bright one that she didn’t much care for because she knew it was partly forced . . . she didn’t like seeing that. It made her frown a bit, her muscles tightening up as a result. She didn’t want him to smile like that, she wanted to see him smile truly, and honestly.

Some relief did reach her though, when it was that smile of his became more of an honest one, a real one rather than a forced one. That was more of what she wanted to see from her friends. . . . "Oh, it's fine. We can just all go; who'd want to steal this old, derelict ship anyway?"

Another sigh came from him though, before it was that he was leaning over her; that managed to elicit a small yelp from her throat, as it wasn’t what she was expecting. Without any trouble, he managed to lift her up, holding her as if she was a kid. A little kid, at that. . . . Something of a small and tired sigh slipped from Ceridwen’s lips as she hastily found her herself twining her hair back into a quick bun so that it wouldn’t get in the way. The idea of her maybe being thought of as a kid wasn’t something she liked. . . . Maybe she acted it at times, but Ceridwen wasn’t a child. Even if she hadn’t changed much.

"So, where would her majesty like to visit?” she heard Eric ask that. The question caused little Ceridwen to look up at him questioningly; he was joking around again. The silver-haired girl blinked a couple of times, even if she were not feeling so great right now. . . . Was there anything wrong with her perhaps having a bit of fun?

Rii is known as being a trickster back home for a reason . . . though, she knows that this will be more of a joke then a trick~ she thought. Ceridwen took to it, her act for what she had planned; the fun she wanted to have.

It left her lips, a soft and tired sort sigh, before she nuzzled her head into Eric in manner one might consider loving, for a moment following this, Ceridwen remained quiet before even trying to speak, and when it was she did, her voice was a rather soft one, “’Majesty?’” she questioned him, “So, if Rii tells Eric she wants to go somewhere, he’ll listen to her? No matter where that might be~?”

A rather playful look took hold upon her face, impish. A “Hmm~” came from her throat, as she pulled her arms up from herself, and brought them down around Eric’s neck, loosely, twining her fingers together in the back. “So, tell Rii something . . . what if she wants to pay a visit to Eric’s room with him?” Ceridwen looked up to Eric, and gave him a smile. The tone of her voice sounded the part of honest one, mischievous, yet sincere.

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Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt Character Portrait: Marie "Cleo" Cleophel
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BGM: Fusion!

As suddenly as I had been dragged into a rather embarrassing position, I was released, the one who placed me thus scooting gingerly from beneath me and then lying down by my side with a quiet mumble. "Ah, I feel like melting," Eden sighed, gazing sadly up at the sky and giving a few stifled, painful-sounding coughs. This only increased my concern. I didn't understand why Eden kept denying the fact that he was sick, but nothing good could come of it if he kept this up. We needed to get down from here and to somewhere indoors. While a fever really meant you were unnaturally warm, you usually felt really cold, so whenever I got a fever, I would always nestle myself beneath as many blankets as I could find in my small tower and read books until I felt better. I wondered if that cure might work here, in this place, like it did back home. Well, I'd never be able to find out unless Eden A: admitted he was sick and B: agreed to go down from the crow's nest.

Another soft whine startled me out of my reverie as Eden spoke yet again, slowly sitting up and gazing mournfully down at me, looking for all the world like a puppy begging for a treat. I had to hold back laughter at the sudden innocent, cute face he put on, while also holding back the equal urge to hug him on the spot, a thought which rather embarrassed me as I recalled the somewhat revealing nature of my oversized pajamas.

"Aww... I don't want to be ill, Cleo," Eden grumbled. This comment, fortunately, managed to overcome both momentary impulses as I realized to my equal relief and consternation that Eden had finally admitted to the fact that he was ill. But, of course, to do so must have meant he was feeling even worse, right? That wasn't good. I needed to get him down from here. As he began muttering something about Eric and bows, I quickly rose to my feet across from him, and extended my hand shyly to invite him to take it and stand up.

"E-er... if you're ill, then it's probably not good to stay up here, right? We should go back down to the cabins, or else your cold might get worse," I suggested nervously, hoping that this wouldn't unreasonably anger him like my previous comments about him being sick seemed to have.

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Character Portrait: Eric Evernalt Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt Character Portrait: Marie "Cleo" Cleophel Character Portrait: Ceridwen Nox
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Eric


“’Majesty?’” Ceridwen questions, and Eric blinked. Maybe. . . . Maybe she'd taken his joking the wrong way and was confused, but it seemed rather as if she were contemplating her options. “So, if Rii tells Eric she wants to go somewhere, he’ll listen to her? No matter where that might be~?”

Eric grinned. "But of course, your Majesty." He smiled at the small girl, before a look of total surprise came over his face. The girl was making a joking, elvish look, full of mischief. She seemed ready for whatever he was going to throw at her. But he'd grown up with a brother who would pretend he was in his games even at the dinner table, and he'd play along. He could face anything, from pirates to winning a basketball tournament. So, no matter what she was planning in that cunning little mind of her, he was sure he could answer.

“Hmm~” Eric simply looked at the girl as she placed her arms around his neck, before looking away from too much eye-contact, in his opinion. “So, tell Rii something . . . what if she wants to pay a visit to Eric’s room with him?” One blink, before he had an answer.

The younger Evernalt leant down, slightly closer to the girl than before. "Then I would feel. . . . obliged to take her Majesty there." he said silkily, a small smirk playing on his lips. "Is that your only wish. . . ?" The boy smiled at her, leaning sideways to kiss one of the girl's outstretched arms. He knew this would turn into a big competition, but he couldn't help wanting to participate. He, after all, took fun in all this, but this time, it was a competition between friends and one he wasn't sure he was going to win. After all, the small girl could be very cunning and he knew it from their childhood together, where she would always play tricks on him.

Which rendered him crying and running to his brother.

Eric sighed at himself, looking at the door. "Well then, off we go, your Majesty." He kicked open the door with his foot gracefully, striding out into the small hallway between the cabins. He peeked into his room, seeing the mess he'd already made. He'd been equipped with a bookshelf and since he couldn't sleep, at least ten books were strayed out on the floor, half open. When he'd gone through clothes, instead of checking in a orderly manner, he chucked the rest of the clothing behind him like a small child and they were lying on the floor casually. But one odd thing were his pillows; one at the top of his bed and one at the bottom while his covers lay in disarray, threatening to fall of the bed any second now.

The boy looked from the girl to the room, his voice going a bit sheepish. "I know it's only been a day and it should be impossible to make this much mess but," he looked at some of the books, most maths related for some odd reason, ", you asked to see my room, so here it is." Eric sat the girl down on the bed, sitting next to her.

"You can read some maths if that's what you want next, your Majesty." Eric pressed his palms together and lay his face on them, looking at Ceridwen. It was only a few seconds before he looked away.


Eden


The boy was completely lost in his thoughts, as usual, but they had strayed to a more recent event and he frowned slightly at the idea. Maybe this is a big game. If so, there's an objective, along with possibly related sidequests and probably a town nearby. This isn't Am Caillte anymore, and it certainly isn't Dianc Blodau.

Eden's gave no response for at least a few seconds before he snapped back to reality, only catching the last of Cleo's words. "- down to the cabins, or else your cold might get worse,". Her hand was in front of him, he noticed, and he looked at it while tilting his head to the left slowly. After a few moments, the socially awkward boy finally sussed out what she meant and took her cold hand gratefully, standing with a bit of trouble.

Did he want to take the long scale back down? It had been difficult already going up, and though he didn't have a fear of heights, he was constantly being hit with sudden spells of vertigo. The boy stumbled backwards a bit, resting on the banister of the crow's nest. "You can go first. I'll just... follow lead." Eric said, his eyes focusing and unfocusing randomly. The Evernalt closed his eyes slowly, biting his thumb quietly and readied himself. Once he got down to the cabins, he was definitely going to put on some better clothes, and some shoes.

"Well then, we should get down and into the warmth, if that's what you want."


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Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt Character Portrait: Marie "Cleo" Cleophel
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As my companion gazed nervously down at the deck below, I realized quite easily that he was rather wary of the distance we'd have to scale before we made it back down from our little nest. Hearing him stammer a response quite weakly, I couldn't help but feel guilty for worrying him to the point where he'd fight against the common sense that told him to stay safely on the ground and come rushing up and help me. Now he was stuck up here, out of his element, and reluctant to make his way back down to the ground. It seemed that even when I wasn't trying to bother anyone by dealing with my problem falling asleep the night before on my own, I could still only cause Eden trouble.

As a Human, I was really, truly, worthless, in that regard. Quite frankly, there are no redeeming specialties about myself save for those that either go unnoticed or are, quite simply, not believed in. My intelligence is average. My grades are average. My personality is average. My looks are average. Everything about me... average. And, try as I might to change that, as of yet, I'm incapable of becoming remarkable in any way. All I do is drive others away from myself. All I can give to those close to me is the burden of my company, and the trouble that it brings.

In my own self-assessment, my character is absolutely, completely, and utterly without merit or value.

This event was just another evidence of that. Even in the presence of Eden, the person I valued above everyone else, I could still make only the wrong choices and bring him trouble. The fear showing in his widened eyes and his broken, quivering voice only served to hammer home the truth of my inescapable condition. But, I would have to continue trying despite the knowledge that I could only ever fail. Because if I chose and chose wrong like I always did, it would still be better than not choosing at all. I had to do something, to make Eden feel at ease. Quite simply, there was no other option.

"H-hey, don't worry about it!" I stammered, giving a nervous smile. "I'll go first, see? If you slip, I can always catch you. Since I made you come up here, it'd just be my just desserts to be used to cushion your fall, so don't be afraid for either your sake or mine." No, that wasn't good enough! Knowing Eden, that would only make him feel worse. Augh, I was such an idiot. What was I thinking, going and saying stupid things like that? I needed to come up with a better reason, and quick!

And then, it struck me. Immediately, I continued, quickly rattling off the reassurance I had just come up with, one I could only hope would be able to calm the wracked nerves of my companion more effectively than my last feeble attempt.

"B-besides, didn't you see what happened when you tried to jump off the ship last night? You just floated there, right? The same thing would probably happen here, even if you fell. It's like how, in a storybook, the hero can't die, right? There's probably some sort of safety measure or magic spell or plot armor or something to keep us from getting badly hurt after only just having arrived here. So don't worry, okay? You'll be fine. A-anyway, let's head down, then!" Blushing furiously as I realized the ridiculous nature of what I had said, I only hoped Eden was still the sort of person who would accept an argument like that. If he'd changed into the sort who would laugh in my face for proposing something so clearly preposterous and not based in scientifically proven fact, I probably would have jumped over the edge then and there in the hopes that his scoffing at my theory had been correct. But, I decided I'd rather not risk such a response, and so quickly scampered over the railing, rather loudly declaring my intentions to head down, and, catching a hold of the frayed and rotted but nonetheless steadfast rope, I cautiously set about descending, making room for my companion to climb down above me. I only hoped he would trust me and follow.

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Character Portrait: Eric Evernalt Character Portrait: Ceridwen Nox
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Ceridwen


It was only a moment before Eric had an answer for her—to be expected of him. He was a very smart boy after all, Ceridwen knew as much. She expected it of him, to get some sort of rise from him, to have her declaration of a challenge met. He leaned closer to her, a smirk playing over his features, he knew what she was up to. And that was just what she wanted from him, she wanted some fun, even if she were ill. “Then I would feel. . . . obliged to take her Majesty there.” the tone of voice he choose to use, she knew that one, it was the same one he used to charm people back home. A silky, sort of enticing tone which would entirely draw a weak willed person into it, male or female. Eric could bend people to his will with just his voice if he wanted to, well, only the people who were capable of falling victim to it. Time and time again, she’d seen him do it, that’s why he had his reputation as a heartbreaker.

Even though she knew better than to fall for the tone in his voice, for the mannerisms and aura he was now displaying, Ceridwen herself couldn’t deny the fact that Eric knew how to just ooze the allure. He definitely knew how to switch between personas at the drop of a hat. “Is that your only wish. . . ?” he spoke, gave her a rather appealing smile before he kissed one of her extended arms. Ceridwen simply gave her old friend a knowing smile, more or less showing that she wasn’t going to fall for it.

She knew where this was going to end up—both him and her trying to outdo one another until, finally, someone caved and couldn’t keep it up anymore. It wasn’t always so much about the level of cunning one implored, it’d been partly about how far someone could go before it was too much. Ceridwen didn’t know the limits Eric had anymore, not really, but she knew her own, and she wasn’t ready to lose. As they had been when they were younger, she’d always enjoyed playing little tricks and jokes on Eric in particular since he usually was the one who would give the best and most entertaining of reactions to the lot of them. Crying, and running to Eden. . . . How things might end up now, Ceridwen knew that much wasn’t going to happen, but certainly, something of interest had to occur. Ill or not, she was going to win this little game she’d spawned up, even if it meant she had to break her own limits.

Ceridwen kept her lavender eyes upon Eric as he sighed, seemingly to himself before his eyes found the door, and he spoke again. “Well then, off we go, your Majesty.” he sounded as if he were half-teasing and were half-sincere. It made Ceridwen let out a little giggle, honestly, she missed the times from their childhood, when it was that jokes and such were commonplace. When smiles were often and laughs the norm. . . . Just like those times too, she was sick again, stuck with whatever sort of bug had infected Eden the day before. Eric kicked the door of the room open rather elegantly, well, as elegantly as someone could kick a door open. He walked out into the hallway with her still held in his arms like it was nothing, but when it was that he wound up in front of his room, his attitude seemed to falter.

Peeking into his room, the air he carried seemed rather sheepish—embarrassed and uncertain. A sly little grin slipped over Ceridwen’s face at this. Weakness found, adjusting targets now. she thought. As it was they entered the place that Eric had claimed as his own, Ceridwen could see why it was his act had faltered so, his domicile was a pigsty! It made her laugh just a bit. Things never changed. Only a day, just a single day they’d been on the ship, and he’d only been in his cabin for a night and already it looked like what his room always did when they were children.

He looked to her and to his mess-of-a-room, speaking with a rather awkward tone in his voice. “I know it’s only been a day and it should be impossible to make this much mess but,” he paused, looking at some books. “you asked to see my room, so here it is.” he finished, voice sounding rather dry of tone, matter-of-factly. Ceridwen was set down on the boy’s destroyed bed as it was he sat himself down next to her.

The girl wound up leaning herself up against the footboard of the bed, not exactly feeling up to supporting her weight for the moment. Yet still, she drew her gaze back to Eric, who chose to speak again. “You can read some maths if that’s what you want next, your Majesty.” He set his head into the palms of his hands, looking at her for a few moments before casting his gaze away.

There came to her face again, a smile, though she was still feeling sore and as if it were infinitely hard for her to move, Ceridwen was going to press onward with this mess of an act of hers. A giggle, a little sigh, a nostalgic one, then she spoke. “Just like when we were kids, Eric still keeps his room a pigsty—Rii can remember from when they were children.” She looked to him with a wistful smile upon her face, “She also remembers just how bashful Eric would get over the state he kept his room in . . . it would seem like that hasn’t changed much either~”

“Y’know, as Rii thinks back on it, she can’t help but wonder something. . . .” A thoughtful look formed over her face, an honest one at that. “Technically speaking, wasn’t Rii the first girl you ever had in your room?” With a bit of a laugh, she nudged Eric’s side a bit with her elbow as she said that. Of course she was joking regarding that, but it wasn’t really false, as kids, she’d really been the first girl in his room since they were close friends as children, and she’d come and seen him whenever it was he was sick and she were by chance not. “She was, wasn’t she?”

“Rii finds it sort of funny, how much changed between everyone as they got older. Eric grew up, and turned out strong, and to be very handsome while it was Rii just . . . stayed small, and rather like a child.” She leaned up against Eric at that, her head resting on the boy’s side. “Does Eric think Rii still is very much a child . . . ?”

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Eden


Mirajane no Theme

"H-hey, don't worry about it!" Cleo said with an awkward smile plastered on her face. Eden tilted his head left, before listening in to what she was saying. "I'll go first, see? If you slip, I can always catch you. Since I made you come up here, it'd just be my just desserts to be used to cushion your fall, so don't be afraid for either your sake or mine." The Evernalt frowned.

Why would he let her cushion his fall? Weren't they friends? Did he miss some of the social protocol when he was growing up and now people risked their lives for each other? No, from what he'd read in books, that generally was the social protocol between good friends, but that had brought him to what he was now calling Wave Two of Confusion. They had met the day before, right? As far as he was concerned, that's how it was and while he did already consider Cleo quite close to him and he would probably risk his life for her without even thinking about it, he wasn't sure why she would do the same for him and why she considered him so highly in her list of friends that she would risk pain for him. Though even if they did fall, they probably wouldn't die or anything, there would still be a horrible level of pain about it.

Eden was biting his thumb as he thought about this. "B-besides, didn't you see what happened when you tried to jump off the ship last night? You just floated there, right? The same thing would probably happen here, even if you fell. It's like how, in a storybook, the hero can't die, right? There's probably some sort of safety measure or magic spell or plot armor or something to keep us from getting badly hurt after only just having arrived here. So don't worry, okay? You'll be fine. A-anyway, let's head down, then!" The boy looked up suddenly, a childish confidence in his eyes. She was right, and she had practically used game terms, though she had used the example 'a storybook'. Right, so Cleo had cleared up most of the doubts he had.

"I'll protect you."

Words from long ago flooded into his mind and the seed of doubt he had lodged was gone. Eden looked at Cleo with a certainty in his eyes. He did notice her blushing; maybe she thought her suggestion was ridiculous though Eden certainly believed it. "Don't worry." he said quietly, mostly to himself. "Don't worry." Eden repeated himself as Cleo started making her way back down. "It's okay. There's a witch looking after me." The boy smiled, before he breathed in heavily, stepping his foot down onto the ropes below him.

His foot touched the rope, but he didn't dread anything. Unlike on the way up, he wasn't scared and was fully assured by Cleo's words. After all, he had tested it out himself, and if they all were really the main protagonists of this odd story, there was not one way how they could die, was there? Well, he'd just have to take Cleo's word for law. It seemed he practically did that anyway, though even he wasn't too sure as to why.

But he still stepped down onto the rigging carefully, checking the rope with his foot to see if it was all safe. But he looked down.

Eden knew it was a terrible idea and he'd seen it in multiple games, but when his eyes shifted as he stared at the distance between him and the deck, he simply clung onto the ropes tightly with his hands, pulling his body closer to the rigging and shutting his eyes tightly. It took him a few seconds to regain his composure, to calm his spinning head, but he started shakily searching for the level below. The boy seemed to be doing okay with Cleo a short while ahead of him when his arms began aching.

So he let go and grabbed onto Cleo with a childish look on his generally-stoic face. Though he was sure he wasn't going to hit the wooden deck, he still angled his odd hug thing so he was holding Cleo's hands and most importantly, facing the floor so he would hit first if the theory was wrong.

But no, as they flew through the air, they came to a soft halt just before they hit the ground, instead floating onto the floor where Eden sat, Cleo in his arms, and just burst into unstoppable giggles like he did all the time as a child. "We were right!" Eden breathed through his laughter, grinning.




Eric


Shukumei

A smile, a giggle, a sigh. They all came in such a quick succession that Eric didn't quite know what to say. “Just like when we were kids, Eric still keeps his room a pigsty—Rii can remember from when they were children.” Ceridwen looked at him and he groaned in remembrance. How annoying; did everyone still remember that or was it just Ceridwen? “She also remembers just how bashful Eric would get over the state he kept his room in . . . it would seem like that hasn’t changed much either~”

“Y’know, as Rii thinks back on it, she can’t help but wonder something. . . .” Oh, how Eric dreaded her next sentence. He'd almost forgotten they were playing their little game and it seemed that Ceridwen knew him as well as his own brother; who seemed to know more about him than he did himself, just like Eden. “Technically speaking, wasn’t Rii the first girl you ever had in your room?” She laughed and nudged Eric, but he was fighting off a childlike blush. “She was, wasn’t she?” The boy scoffed to himself, sighing.

Eric looked at her, a mocking sigh coming out of his lips. "Oh Ceri, Ceri, Ceridwen." He chided her in the exact way he would as children. Though now, his voice was different, deeper. Things had most definitely changed, and he had gone along with Time without doubting a thing and never looking back at the better times. He got drawn into a life of lies and he only had one person who still trusted him, somewhat, and even that person seemed not to have changed as much as him. He'd gone from being a smiling child who cried when pranks were played on him and relied on his older brother, to being a teenage boy who played with girls' hearts for fun and is constantly relied on by his brother. Everything had changed.

Still, he spoke after a few moments. "Didn't everyone have a mother?" he grinned, looking straight into her eyes before looking away quickly.

“Rii finds it sort of funny, how much changed between everyone as they got older. Eric grew up, and turned out strong, and to be very handsome while it was Rii just . . . stayed small, and rather like a child.” He jumped as she rested on his side, before relaxing. He wasn't freaked out, just surprised. “Does Eric think Rii still is very much a child . . . ?”

"Yes."

He spoke truthfully, a small smile on his face. "And that's wonderful. It's absolutely perfect, Ceridwen. You're the only one who hasn't been affected by the years passing on and that's perfect in every way I can think of." Eric said, sighing. "I've changed and though I didn't know Cleo before, I'm sure she's changed since childhood. For example, her hair's blue and I'm sure that isn't natural. And Eden. . . ." he trailed off, a long and drawn out sigh escaping his lips.

"But you stayed the same Ceridwen I looked up to, even though to once put a bucket on my head and convinced me that I lost the ability to see because I made Eden angry. Or the time you said everyone in the world had superpowers apart from me and you all had to keep it a big secret. But you made us all laugh and I still admire you just as much. I think." Eric wasn't sure of what he'd just said, or why he'd even blurted everything in his head out instead of just pretending he didn't understand the question just like in school. Well, hopefully Ceridwen would get the point.

Eric sighed. "But I'm terrified of you, to be honest." he spoke quietly. "For many reasons. First of all, all of us students know what happened between you, those guys and that recording device. Second, I don't really want to remember the bad parts of mine and Eden's past. Yet I remember you and the memories are crystal clear. And thirdly, you seemed to have made a small game out of making me cry when we were children and I haven't changed as much as to trust everything you do, so I'll have a close eye on you, Ceridwen Nox."

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Ceridwen


Karakuri Pierrot – Piano Arragment

“Yes.” The tone his voice carried was ever-truthful, it was honest. But it was so in a way which not meant as an insult, it was meant as a good thing—an answer to be taken for the positive. Yet still, that answer made Ceridwen open her eyes, and smile a knowing smile of her own. Time hadn’t done much in the way of changing her, other than turning her into a despicable coward that is. She was still the child she’d been around the time the lot of them had all gone their own ways and had been set upon different paths, and let themselves diverge from one another. There were things about her that had changed, more than she was letting on about, things she didn’t want to. . . . To admit to anyone. Not even to herself, really. Her physical self had changed, but her inner self, that was . . . different, wasn’t it? “And that's wonderful. It's absolutely perfect, Ceridwen. You're the only one who hasn't been affected by the years passing on and that's perfect in every way I can think of.” Eric uttered a sigh, Ceridwen followed along by his example and sighed to herself quietly. He didn’t know.

“I've changed and though I didn't know Cleo before, I'm sure she's changed since childhood. For example, her hair's blue and I'm sure that isn't natural. And Eden. . . .” He stopped there, voice fading off quietly. He didn’t want to go on about that, about how his brother had changed. Ceridwen knew enough for him to not go on about it, she’d seen a lot more than she probably should’ve things had happened that she should’ve stepped in upon, there were many places and events upon which she should have done something instead of just sitting idly by, like the coward she’d become. Always she thought that things were somehow going to magically get better without her interference. That was what she always thought . . . through everything Eden and Eric had gone through with their stepmother.

Through it all, there were so many times she should’ve done something—calling herself their friend and yet still she never did anything. Here she was . . . still playing the same as before, acting like the same old Ceridwen as ever when that wasn’t. . . . Was that who she still was? Was she still the same person she was acting as now. Seventeen years old, and she was playing a hyperactive little girl who liked to think of herself as the same as ever before, the same sort of person she’d been for years. Brave, strong and a bit on the wild side regarding her personal safety. . . . But, was that really who she still was? Had she just been pushing away the changes that were forming inside of her this time, hiding from them in an attempt to cling onto a past, which no longer had much merit . . . ? Time had started everyone out on the paths that led them to who they were now, but in the end they all had made their own choices in going along with it all.

It had done that to her too, Time had placed Ceridwen on a path to become a different person, to change and grow, but she hadn’t taken that path. Maybe it would’ve been the right path too, maybe she would’ve held onto her feelings and her memories on that path to growing up, and found the courage to somehow protect her friends without the fear she held onto while just watching over them. . . . She’d been so foolish as to entirely blame Time for everything that had happened, and yet . . . that wasn’t true, she had come to see that Time was only partially at fault for what happened, it just started things. And, it had started something for her as well, but she had refused to take part in it, all she had done was cling onto something which she should’ve let go years ago, so she could change and become the person she needed to be.

“But you stayed the same Ceridwen I looked up to, even though to once put a bucket on my head and convinced me that I lost the ability to see because I made Eden angry. Or the time you said everyone in the world had superpowers apart from me and you all had to keep it a big secret. But you made us all laugh and I still admire you just as much. I think.” Hearing his words, Ceridwen found tears beginning to form in her eyes . . . this wasn’t right. She wasn’t. Her hands tightened up against her legs, into tiny little fists. Her head still rested on Eric’s side, but, the expression carried on it was . . . different than before.

Back and forth, up and down, she kept veering between feelings, between sentiments, her thoughts would bounce between extremes, between things she couldn’t seem to make her mind up on now. From her old self, to a self of sorrow, of loathing, of questioning and uncertainty. . . . Something in her just couldn’t let it go, it just couldn’t release the grip it had on the girl she kept acting like, the girl who spoke in third person, who acted so silly, so immature and childish, who was even playing mind games now when she was sick and such. Admire . . . ? No, Rii . . . Rii? No one uses that nickname anymore, not at all, so why do . . .? she thought to herself. Things were clicking together inside of her mind, a thousand thoughts a second were forming in that head of hers. All of this . . . this randomness, this stuff she couldn’t either come to terms with or make her mind up on. . . . End, it has to end. There has been a lot of change, more than anyone knows, but . . . I couldn’t ever let it surface because I was always scared, afraid, I didn’t want to admit it, come to terms with it, know that there was always something that could be done because of the fear possessing me. Change is something I needed to take part in, but didn’t. I am not something to admire, because I’m not really suppose to be this girl anymore.

Her body was indeed still aching, and she felt far too heavy for her own good, her head was spinning, and even trying to admit all of this was too much for her to handle, yet, she forced it on. She needed to step forward now, to change, to take part in what it was she’d denied for so many years. Ceridwen held onto fear for what it was she’d shoved away for so long, the changes which would ensue . . . but she knew they were necessary. Time’s progression . . . it could be painful, but it was necessary, it had to happen, not letting it only would lead to something like her—a person clinging onto things which had no more merit, no true value. It would lead to self-loathing, questioning and confusion beyond anything one should have. . . .

It was time she changed, and became someone worth admiring, worthy of the friend she’d held onto as kids, of those who remembered her after so very long and still valued her. “But I'm terrified of you, to be honest.” as Eric spoke again, Ceridwen brought her eyes to shut with a shaky exhale. Whatever was coming next, it was something that needed to be said, from the tone in his voice, it needed to be spoken. Yet, with the coming words, the silver-haired girl moved her hand until it found the footboard of Eric’s bed, and she used it to pull herself away from her old friend, to support herself. It hurt to move, but it didn’t matter. “For many reasons. First of all, all of us students know what happened between you, those guys and that recording device. Second, I don't really want to remember the bad parts of mine and Eden's past. Yet I remember you and the memories are crystal clear. And thirdly, you seemed to have made a small game out of making me cry when we were children and I haven't changed as much as to trust everything you do, so I'll have a close eye on you, Ceridwen Nox.”

EXEC_CHRONICLE_KEY/. – Piano Arragement

There slipped from her lips a quiet sigh, along with a melancholic smile. He was right to not trust her, to keep an eye on her given how much of an idiot she could be, and still was. Yes, she was going to bring herself to change, to force herself into what it was she’d so avoided for these last years, but even still . . . Eric was completely in the right with his manner of thought at the moment. And though she could’ve well regarded him with anger, with disdain and annoyance, instead, Ceridwen gave to Eric a sorrowful smile, her eyes shut as it appeared she was fighting off an urge to cry again. There was no escaping this, no pushing it away, she couldn’t keep doing that anymore—denying what it was she needed to accept, to take on. If she didn’t allow herself to grow, to become who it was Time intended for her to, then. . . . He’s completely right about this, about not trusting me wholly. No one should,I don’t deserve trust. she thought, Not until it can be said I’ve changed into the person I need to become. That I should’ve become.

The time had come to grow up, and to accept all of the mistakes she’d made, to realize the wrongs she’d committed of her own fears and cowardice . . . she needed to take all of that in and learn to act the way she should’ve been this whole time. “You’re right, not to completely trust me, y’know?” she spoke, her voice soft, her head turned away from him. Ceridwen kept that smile on her face, while her eyes were cast down at the mess of a floor. “I’m not someone to admire, all I keep doing is going back and forth about how I feel now that I’m back at the sides of the people I dared to call my most precious friends. . . . Guilt, happiness, idiocy, elation, I don’t know if I should even be one or the other, or, even how it is I should be. Should I have changed at all . . . ? Did I change, and maybe just lock it all away because of fear of what sort of person I’d become if I did?” Ceridwen shook her head, voice hoarse from her sore throat.

“Truthfully, you shouldn’t admire me at all, not in the slightest. . . . Because all I am is a coward. That’s all I am.” Though it was difficult for her to do so, Ceridwen forced herself to her feet. Her legs felt like jelly, and they didn’t want to support her weight in the least, but . . . she made them too. “And, you should keep watching me closely Eric, because I’ve decided I’m not going to be afraid of it anymore. I’m . . . going to change, and accept whatever it was Time had in mind for me all these years.” She turned back to him and gave a sincere smile. “It’s time to grow up and to stop acting like the girl who always used to make you cry because she found it fun. That was the only way I knew how to say that you were important to me back then, but that’s not how it is anymore, I shouldn’t be doing that. And, I won’t.”

She stepped toward the door rather quickly, nearly tipping forward as she did so, only to catch herself on the frame. Ceridwen gave one last glance to Eric, and a smile. “I’m sorry for all the times I made you cry when we were kids.” She apologized before darting out into the hallway, pushing her legs to move despite their protests, she headed for the untouched door that was supposed to be her room—the cabin she should’ve slept in the night before. . . .

Setting

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Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt Character Portrait: Marie "Cleo" Cleophel
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As a sudden rush of air from above me alerted me to the rapid plunge my companion was taking above me, I did not panic. Even as he flew past, reaching out and catching onto me at exactly the same time I spread my grasp to catch him, I was not afraid. As we fell to the hull of the ship far below, my heart did not so much as accelerate in its beating. While a normal girl might have been screaming her head off right now, there were two things that made me different.

I said before that I was irredeemably ordinary, so you might wonder why I now claim that I different. To this question, I give you two simple answers.

Firstly, I was in the presence of the person most important to me, falling right by his side. To panic would be unsightly, especially after the confident reassurance I had just given him. And I, as his friend - even if he did not remember me - could not stand to burden him in such a manner. I would hold fast to my belief in the magic that would protect our lives, but, at the same time, even though it seemed impossible, I tried to alter the course of our fall slightly so that we would both strike the deck in different locations. Even if I could not save him entirely from the impact, should it come, I could at least spread the force of the fall over a large area so as not to land on top of him and cause him serious, albeit inadvertent harm.

But secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it was because I realized now that he did remember me, even if he didn't fully recall who I was, nor, perhaps, might he want to recall. For the words he had just spoken were...

"Don't worry, Eden!" I had said resolutely, standing before my fallen friend and facing down the large black dog that snarled and raged at the two of us children, having chased us for quite some distance from our usual route home. We had outrun it for a while, but Eden had tripped and fallen, leaving us no option - in my opinion - but to stand and fight. And so, I made my vow, braced myself, and prepared.

"I'll protect you with my magic!"

To be honest, I hadn't needed to keep my promise on that day, for the dog's owner found it again and subdued the escaped beast before it could cause any harm, but ever since that day, I had taken those words as a new code of conduct, an oath by which I would abide for all of my remaining days with my friend. From that day onward, I had changed the focus of my magical studies. At first, I had researched silly things like "how to summon a pony" or "how to transport oneself into a storybook," or other such simple ways of pleasing myself and escaping from the reality of my all-but-imprisonment in the tower I called home. My friendship magic, the first spell that had been met with absolute success, had just been another one of these studies in self-amusement, if a very vitally important one.

But, after I had made my promise, I changed my focus. Charms of protection, spells to keep those I cared about safe from misfortune, injury, sickness, and all manner of other things. Even when I myself was ill, I worked tirelessly to invent arcane sigils to cure diseases my friend hadn't even yet contracted. Most of these well-intentioned spells never saw the light of day, but I liked to think that Eden had believed in the power of those I had mustered the courage to give them, few though they were. And, given what he had just said, he really had, truly, accepted and believed wholeheartedly in the power of my magic. That much was enough to bring a warmth into my heart, even as we fell through the cold air.

"There's a Witch protecting me,"
Eden said.

Then, with a sudden jerking stop, we halted. For a moment, my eyes widened with irrepressible fear for the worst as I looked to see if there had been an impact. But, I realized, there had been no sound of a body striking hard on wood, and the friend who now floated beneath me as though on the surface of some unseen, glassy pool still smiled cheerfully up at me, not a trace of pain showing in those familiar eyes. Then... the spell had worked after all! We were safe! But even this relieved thought did not occupy my mind for long, for a far more important thing now took up the entirety of my thoughts. Even as Eden embraced me and gave an elated cry of success, my thoughts were elsewhere.

"We were..." Was all I said in reply, but even though my features were blank as, in my tumultuous stream of consciousness, forgot to place the appropriate smile upon them, the light of absolute glee in my eyes could not be mistaken.

He remembered. Eden remembered me, and still believed in my magic! Even if he couldn't recall who I was right now... he was willing to do so slowly despite all of my failures! I would be able to redeem myself in his eyes after all! I could change after all, become someone worthwhile, and when Eden remembered, he would finally accept me once again, as he had done back in the old days! My very soul leaped for joy, and my heart welled up in my chest. I almost cried. But, I restrained myself. It wouldn't do to shed inexplicable tears right now. Eden would just feel like he had done something wrong somehow if I did, and I would have to explain to him why I was crying. That would only hasten his remembrance while preventing me from changing at all. It wouldn't do to be remembered like this. I had to change first, to cast aside the flaw of unimportance that had plagued me all my life, that had nearly taken my precious friend away from me forever. Now that he was back, I wouldn't miss this second chance I had been given by this unknown magic. I would absolutely, without a doubt, become the Witch who Eden had believed in, who Eden still believed in, who had been special enough to remember, even now! No, in fact, I would go beyond even her, and become a Witch worthy of staying by Eden's side forever! I would surpass everything I had been as a Human, as a Witch, and as Marie, and seize back those wonderful days of old from the ruthless hand of time!

For the first time in countless years... I felt hope - true, boundless hope - once again.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Eric Evernalt Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt Character Portrait: Marie "Cleo" Cleophel Character Portrait: Ceridwen Nox
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Eden


K Project (OST)

"We were..." Eden stopped his laughter and looked at the girl. She seemed elsewhere, somewhere more important; her thoughts. He understood the feeling exactly, he always flew off into his own world, but often he just thought. Yeah, sure, he was a total airhead most of the time, but for a good reason. Well, he considered it a good reason, since it put his mind at rest. The boy looked at his hands, before noticing something and stuttering incoherent words quickly, backing away from the girl swiftly. What had got the boy into such a ruse?

Well, his shorts had ridden up. Way up, and the only thing he could do was stand suddenly and pull them down, a bright tint to his face. Yes, he did wear shorts, but even he had his limits and hotpants were not his thing. What's more, his shirt was balancing carefully on his shoulders, before it slid down and he drew his hands up quickly, pulling the material up so it was once again safe on his shoulders. He stared at Cleo carefully, seeing an odd sort of determination in her eyes. Had she reached her conclusion in her little land of thoughts?

Eden looked at her with childish curiosity, before blinking and placing his hands back at his sides. He stared at her, before smiling quietly. "Erm, Cleo?" he said softly, looking at her. "I think I'm going to change, so I'll see you in a few." He jumped back a few steps, before spinning around on one foot and shakily making his way to his cabin. Xander trotted a few feet in front of him and barked on every other step. "Shh! Ceridwen is still asleep!" He hissed at the dog, before peeking into his cabin. Oh, maybe she wasn't still there. Eden tiptoed into the room softly, so as to not make too much noise, but Ceridwen was not anywhere to be found. Well, maybe she went to her cabin.

Kaze no Requiem

"The winds sweep away souls, and people snatch away hearts. Oh earth, oh rain and wind, oh sky, oh light, please harbor everything in this place." Eden sang quietly, opening the door to the wardrobe. He searched through the clothing quickly. "Please harbor everything in this place and thrive in this place." Ah, he'd found something. But no, today was a day for warm clothing, so he threw the baggy shirt back. Instead, he needed something which would keep him warm. He found an amber doppel coat, though it was too big. Then again, if the clothes in the wardrobe were based on his clothing, none of them would properly fit, right? So he found a white turtleneck shirt and black shorts just about longer than his knee, and well as short socks and some shoes. Eden was quick about it, but he got changed awkwardly. Well, he felt warmer already, really.

His toes wriggled inside his shoes and the sleeves of the coat overpassed his fingers, yet he liked it. After all, he needed to dress warm. "Oh souls, oh hearts, oh love, oh yearnings, please return to this place and abide here forever." Eden walked out to the deck once more, his head spinning slowly. Of course, he stopped walking at the motion and didn't realise his eyes were closed until he opened them. His vision seemed to fizz out, before coming back at an alarming rate. The boy's voice quietened a bit, but he kept singing so he felt more awake; then he had something to concentrate on. "The winds sweep away souls, and people snatch away hearts. Nevertheless, I shall remain in this place and continue singing." The Evernalt breathed carefully, before stepping up and taking his support off the railing at his side.

Eden looked at Cleo, then at Xander whimpering by his feet. He patted the dog quietly, his face as stoic as usual. "Come on, let's get off this ship and walk around." he said to the dog. "Cleo!" The sudden shout made him cough, but he looked up soon enough. "If you get dressed, we can explore the beach!"



Eric


Sixth Stop

“You’re right, not to completely trust me, y’know?” Had she taken it the wrong way? Eric was joking, and he hoped she knew that. “I’m not someone to admire, all I keep doing is going back and forth about how I feel now that I’m back at the sides of the people I dared to call my most precious friends. . . . Guilt, happiness, idiocy, elation, I don’t know if I should even be one or the other, or, even how it is I should be. Should I have changed at all . . . ? Did I change, and maybe just lock it all away because of fear of what sort of person I’d become if I did?”

Eric stared at her. I? I'm? Me? Why. . . . Why is Ceridwen talking in first person? That's not her. It's not. . . . "W-wait, Ceridwen-" he managed to squeeze out, before the words got lost in his throat.

“Truthfully, you shouldn’t admire me at all, not in the slightest. . . . Because all I am is a coward. That’s all I am.” No, no. Eric was almost shouting in his head, yet the words refused to come out. He simply stared at the small girl. “And, you should keep watching me closely Eric, because I’ve decided I’m not going to be afraid of it anymore. I’m . . . going to change, and accept whatever it was Time had in mind for me all these years. It’s time to grow up and to stop acting like the girl who always used to make you cry because she found it fun. That was the only way I knew how to say that you were important to me back then, but that’s not how it is anymore, I shouldn’t be doing that. And, I won’t.”

“I’m sorry for all the times I made you cry when we were kids.”

Eric raced after her in the hallway. Oh, thanks, brain. You know, for working at the wrong moments! He thought harshly, standing behind her. "Ceridwen!" he said, his tone sounding slightly angry. It was like how he spoke with Eden when the older brother didn't eat his vegetables or something. "Turn around." He didn't even wait for any kind of response; he took her wrists and spun her quickly, despite her being ill. That wasn't the point right now. "Do you really think I want you to apologise? Think I wan't you to say sorry, to change? If you changed, you wouldn't be Ceridwen- no, Rii! You'd be someone else. But you're not a coward. When you were younger, you'd fight illnesses and diseases simply to see me and Eden, and. . . . Marie. Last night, you sang my brother to sleep after he'd had a nightmare. You did that before too! And he sang to you. Remember that time you didn't want to sleep, yet we made you? You were so angry the next time we saw you. Am I apologising? No! What's past is past, and though you made me cry, I was a crybaby anyway! I was a coward! I overlooked abuse and illness towards my elder, and where did that get me? An over-dependant brother, and now I'm simply trying to make up of it."

He sighed, before continuing. "Rii." Eric's eyes widened as he remembered something important. "I-I made a promise to you." he said slowly. "I made a promise to Rii. Not anyone else. And you didn't change. S-So I can. . . . keep my promise." He looked at her, determination in his eyes. The blush creeping onto his cheeks didn't help his point, but whatever. "If you change, I can't keep my promise. I won't keep my promise. So. . . . stay the same, please."



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Character Portrait: Eric Evernalt Character Portrait: Ceridwen Nox
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Ceridwen


It was for the best, it had to be, her changing. She needed to, she needed to let go of the past, to stop being so afraid all the time. The last years of her life had been spent in nothing but fear, constant cowardice that never ended, there was always the fright within her bones that she’d break things more than they already were if she changed, or if she tried to even intervene upon her friend’s new lives. And, a part of her was still now living in that fear. Even with them back by her side, even though Eden, Eric and Marie were all there, something within her was still so scared of changing, of accepting everything she’d denied for so long, locked away. Growing up, acting older, and being the person she should’ve become . . . she had denied herself those things for so long, here she was at seventeen still acting like she was twelve. Twelve year olds could get away with prattling on in third person, acting hyper and reckless, but that was because someone at that age was still a kid. . . . And a kid was something she no longer was, even if she looked like a child in appearance, she wasn’t anymore. Ceridwen Nox was seventeen, and it was time for her to grow up.

The thought of it was scary, taking in what she’d pushed away for the last five years, that was something that made her leery, the thought of undergoing a metamorphosis, to change, that really did scare her. But, it didn’t mean that she was going to lose herself in it all, it just meant that she was going to grow, to become the person she should’ve already been.

Trust, respect, and any notion such as that; those were things that she did not deserve. She’d never deserve those from any of those people she had dared to regard as her old friends, to even call them that as she was now . . . it was something of an insult to them. Until it was she underwent a change, and became the person she should be, she had no right to call them her friends, or to want anything from them. To change meant having to let go of a lot of things and embracing a lot of new ones, but, that was all right. Coping with changes, and accepting new things was a part of growing up, wasn’t it? Scary or not, it was something everyone had to do, to go through.

Even if it does scare me it’s something I have to do. she told herself, standing before the door to her room, head tilted downward as she forced it out, not calling herself by that self-imposed nickname anymore. It felt weird, but at the same time, it felt rather . . . right, more natural than third person did. Even if Eric had been joking in the slightest with what he had said, there’d been truth within his words. Unarguable truth. She wasn’t yet to be trusted as she still held onto her frightful ways from before, her recklessly self-endangering ways. . . . Those were things she couldn’t just keep up with; not as she got older. I might not know, or completely understand what to expect with these changes, but it’s something that has to be done. Maybe, maybe I’ll be more happy if I can actually get myself to grow up, to act more my age.

Ready to say shed her old self, Ceridwen set a hand on the handle of her door, and began to turn it before she heard hastily approaching footsteps, followed by. . . . “Ceridwen!” Eric shouted at her, a scolding tone held within his voice. He was standing behind her—made sense he rushed after her since she’d not given him an actual chance to respond to her words before darting off as she had. Was he going to be angry with her for what she said . . . ?

She had nothing else to yet say to him, there were no more words she needed to let go of as she’d relayed all she needed to. Ceridwen was going to change, as she said she would, that was all he needed to hear from her. “Turn around.” His voice was firm, demanding and stubborn. And, she didn’t even have a chance to respond to his order, or to try to turn on her own, as before she could manage anything, his hands were around her small wrists, forcing her to spin about on her feet to face him.

A small yelp came from her throat as this happened, the action made the ship’s hallway spin around her for a moment longer than she really was. A shudder traveled through her body from this, as a slight queasy feeling settled into her stomach. Letting a breath out to try to coax her stomach into feeling better, Ceridwen turned her head upward, an uneasy expression upon her pallor face. Why does he seem so worked up over this . . . ? I do need to change.

Eric had a rather unhappy look upon his face, an expression that she wasn’t expecting to find there. “Do you really think I want you to apologise? Think I wan't you to say sorry, to change? If you changed, you wouldn't be Ceridwen- no, Rii! You'd be someone else. But you're not a coward. When you were younger, you'd fight illnesses and diseases simply to see me and Eden, and. . . . Marie. Last night, you sang my brother to sleep after he'd had a nightmare. You did that before too! And he sang to you. Remember that time you didn't want to sleep, yet we made you? You were so angry the next time we saw you. Am I apologising? No! What's past is past, and though you made me cry, I was a crybaby anyway! I was a coward! I overlooked abuse and illness towards my elder, and where did that get me? An over-dependant brother, and now I'm simply trying to make up of it.”

Eh . . . ? I know I wasn’t expecting to hear that tangent from him, but even if the past is the past, he doesn’t. . . . a melancholic smile surfaced over her face. His hands were still around her wrists too. He’s trying to talk me out of it, maybe I did take what he said the wrong way, but, I know I still need to change. I’m the only one who hasn’t and I need to, no matter what might be wanted of me. I have to do this. . . . He made his mistakes and I made mine, but he came to realize those faster than I did, and he’s come to change with those. I never did. Ceridwen began to shake, Eric’s hands around her wrists served to remind her again how little she’d allowed herself to become different in the last years. She’d hardly even grown, she was still as tiny as ever, so small, small enough that Eric’s hands could grasp onto her bony little wrists so easily.

Ceridwen had shut her eyes, turning her head down again before, it was she heard Eric sigh; seemingly he was going to continue. So, with a sigh of her own, she turned her lavender eyes back up, to look at him. “Rii.” her own eyes went a bit wide with the usage of her self-given nickname; Eric hadn’t actually addressed her as ‘Rii’ in a long, long time. Since before. . . . It was nostalgic to hear him say it, even if his voice had changed since the last time it’d come from him. It made her smile as it seemed that a realization went through Eric after he spoke the nickname. What could it have triggered . . . ?

He spoke slowly, “I-I made a promise to you.”

Her own eyes went wide when he said that, so . . . Eric had been . . . ? I guess that whole memory wasn’t just the result of a fever-ridden delusion after all. she thought, a sad smile on her face. But, it doesn’t matter.

“I made a promise to Rii. Not anyone else. And you didn't change. S-So I can. . . . keep my promise.” he was determined, the expression carried upon his features reflected that, even though there was a rather dark blush creeping up upon his cheeks. Was he so adamant about this, about a promise made because she wouldn’t stop crying? Yes, that promise had been so much to her, but clinging onto it as she had was childish, just another indication of how much she needed to grow up. “If you change, I can't keep my promise. I won't keep my promise. So. . . . stay the same, please.”

He almost sounded desperate there. This was one thing she never expected to see from Eric, him like this, sounding like this. Ceridwen was happy, happy that the promise was remembered, but. . . . Was that really enough for it to be all right for her to not change?

There came from her a smile, an honest and sad smile. Her forehead wrinkled up a bit as she came to shut her eyes, tears prickling at them in regards to Eric’s ultimatum to keep her from going through with her change. He didn’t want to see her different, because as far as he knew she really still was the same, and in a way, he was right, much of her had stagnated in the last years. That stagnation had left her like this, feeling this way, sick of herself.

She worked her wrists from his grasp, freeing them of his hold. “I-I. . . .” she tried to start, her voice cracking. It was very true, there was a part of her that was very tempted to just remain as she had been, as ‘Rii,’ but then, there was also a part of her ready to move onward, to grow up and become the person she’d long since denied. That was when the girl began to quiver where she stood, body tense and sore. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry Eric.” Her voice was low, and regretful.

A small step was taken forward to limit the distance between herself and him before it was Ceridwen brought her arms up and around Eric’s middle, holding onto him while resting her head on his diaphragm. Tears began to come from her eyes. “I am happy that the promise was remembered; it was definitely one of the most precious things to me for a long while, but, I can’t stay the same anymore. I have to change. If I don’t grow then I’ll remain stagnant for the rest of my life, and I can’t have that.” Ceridwen opened her eyes, and looked up at Eric with a smile, still teary-eyed, “But, even if I do change, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to be me still . . . like you, you might’ve changed, but you’re still Eric, aren’t you? Change is necessary, isn’t it?”

“I’m sorry if that still means you won’t keep your promise to ‘Rii,’ but even with this change, that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be ‘Rii’ anymore, it just means that I’ll be ‘Rii 2.0.’ There will be more to me, but I’ll be growing from the same core as my old self. So . . . please, don’t be upset about it, this is something I need, have needed.”

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Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt Character Portrait: Marie "Cleo" Cleophel
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BGM: Love Colored Master Spark (Because Touhou!)

As I came to my hopeful realization, I found that the one who had held me up until then had risen with a quiet squeak, and begun frantically adjusting his clothes. This sudden motion snapped me out of my reverie, and the embarrassment of my companion reminded me that I probably should have been blushing about now from the close proximity we'd landed in. Yet, somehow, I couldn't bring myself to feel ashamed this time, as though the hope I now held in remaining by Eden's side was enough to dispell any of the awkward things that doing so entailed. Either way, I searched my thoughts, and realized quickly that the only thing I felt now was happiness: joy at being reunited with the person whose presence I valued above all else.

[i]"Erm, Cleo?" The timid voice reached my ears over the gentle wind, and I rose along with my companion, tilting my head inquiringly as he continued with an unusually meek voice. "I think I'm going to change, so I'll see you in a few," He explained, then quickly left. I watched him go, and couldn't suppress a slight smile. So that was why he was embarrassed! He had been fiddling with his outfit a moment ago, and judging by the oversized nature of the clothes, they'd probably been badly mussed up by the landing. I hadn't even noticed - which was probably for the best, since if I had, I'd currently have been a scarlet-faced ball of shame - but he seemed to have been quite embarrassed by it, something which was rather unusual for him, given how straightforward and impassive he always was. He had always been the sort who, to me, seemed never to notice the little things people didn't like about him, and instead just always was himself, a trait I had always admired, but never been able to replicate. That extended to his interactions with others too, though, making his company sometimes very embarrassing, since he had little sense of personal space. This little display now just showed me that he did feel awkward sometimes, after all. Even if it went against his self-assured nature, it was a sort of humanizing aspect that nonetheless gave me a feeling of comfort, and so I merely smiled and watched him go, before turning to my own situation.

I was still in the pajamas I'd found in my room, just as he was. And, since he seemed to be at least feeling a little better now that he'd gotten down from the crow's nest - although I was still worried about his health - I didn't doubt that he'd want to go look around, which meant I, one who, at least, didn't seem to be sick yet, should definitely go with him, just to make sure he was okay. It wouldn't do to let my friend explore an unknown place by himself, and, on top of that, I had to admit, I was curious about this new place we'd ended up in, just as he was.

In that case, it was settled. I should go and get dressed, also, so that I'd be ready when he was. Quickly, I followed his path, heading to the small cabin I had claimed as my own, opening the door, and stepping inside. Like last night, I was a little nervous about getting dressed in here while two boys were on board and, in fact, close enough nearby that I could hear their voices. It sounded like Eric was talking with Ceridwen a few cabins down, while I could hear Eden's clear and entrancing voice as he quietly sang a song to himself, bringing a smile to my face. I remembered that song, and I remembered Eden singing it many times. That song... it held a whole new meaning, now that these days had come. Maybe I was just imagining it, but the words he was singing made it sound like he was longing for a past long gone by, and for the memories we still held, even now, to be spared from being forgotten and kept treasured in our hearts forever. And that feeling was one I could agree with, a beautiful longing I also felt deep within my soul. Whatever magic had brought us to this place must have heard that prayer, returned us to this old place and to the old memories we so cherished.

BGM: I Believe

Without even realizing it at first, I, too, found myself singing as I searched through the small chest of clothes in my quarters, expressing my longing for the old days in the form of a song I remembered also from that time. It was sad, and yet, I had always secretly felt that it somehow suited me, even if I never told anyone. Now, more than ever, those words carried a poignant meaning deeper even than the depths about which they spoke.

"Come to me when my tears are dry. I try to wipe my contorted cheek, but it becomes wet with tears falling one after the other." My words were at first quiet, but slowly began to build as I picked up the familiar melody, beginning again a song I hadn't had the heart to give voice to ever since the olden days. I wouldn't have dared to go beyond a simple whisper, even now - in fact, especially now, as Eden, with his sharp memory, might still recall the tune, just as I remembered and cherished the memories of the song he sang in the room opposite my own. Even if he did not, I worried that the words might raise his suspicions, something I did not at all want.

And yet, despite this, I found myself fighting to keep my voice in check, my words continuing to slowly rise in volume as I put more and more feeling into the old words, singing with all my heart as though nobody was listening. I knew Eden might have heard me now, had he been paying close attention, and yet somehow, even though I didn't want that at all, I felt as though I was trying to sneak the words past the watchful eyes of my own heart, fighting against my own emotions in a desperate, veiled cry for help, for recognition. But this struggle was a doomed one from the start, for I continuously glanced about myself nervously and stifled the sound of my words, letting only bits and pieces of the song actually rise to their full sound.

"I have nothing to hide, but I don’t want to show you my pain. I am still dreaming deep under the sea. I am still floating beyond the sunshine all around me," I carried on with my tune, slowly rifling through the chest until I found a rather striking outfit I liked. Evidently, the magic that had placed us all here, had given me another chance, had also decided to grant me the sort of unusual and eye-catching apparel I could never have gotten for myself back home in my tower. Immediately, I drew it forth, sorted it out, then slipped out of my pajamas and into my new attire - after double-checking to make sure nobody was outside the door, of course.

"From the deep, deep bed of the sea..." My voice was building again, rising as the song neared its chorus. Slipping the top of my pajamas off and folding it on the bed, I took up the first bit of my new clothing, a snugly-fitting, sleeveless white blouse made from a material that, to my astonishment, felt like real, genuine silk. It was an absolute, pure shade, but was trimmed with navy blue, drawing a contrast that seemed to suit me somehow - perhaps because of my own pale skin and blue-colored hair. Of course, a sleeveless garment would have been a pretty silly thing to wear by itself, given the somewhat cold sea air outside, but thankfully, I had more than just the blouse.

"I believe you hear my voice, even if I fell down forever. Everyone has departed across the sea," I continued, the words giving voice to my newly-kindled hopes, and, curiously enough, summarizing my situation quite well, almost as though the song had been written solely to describe this exact moment. Continuing to sing, I now took up the next piece of my outfit: an oversized overcoat made from a thicker material, but lined with the same soft, silky substance as the blouse. The garment was almost comically long, running to a point just above my ankles and splitting into two dramatic, flowing tails around the waist. Its cuffs, meanwhile, were lined with white lace that went up a little way past my wrists, making it appear as though my hands were poking out from inside some sort of shell. This coat's color scheme was the exact opposite of the blouse, with a navy blue exterior and silvery white lining, as though I was wrapped in some kind of a cloud.

"Why do I feel comfortable, wandering alone in this dark cold place?" I carried on with my song, swiftly stepping out of my pajama pants and folding them along with the top, then sliding into a soft skirt, the hue and composition of which matched my new duster, with a blue outside but white lining, and even a thin, small trim around the bottom of soft white lace, matching the over-the-top and yet somehow elegant appearance of the rest of my... unique... apparel. Topping this off with thigh-high black stockings to keep my legs warm and an admittedly somewhat silly two-tailed windflower scarf of white silk, I finally donned the most important piece of my clothing: a wide-brimmed, ever-so-slightly pointed navy blue hat, decorated with a single white ribbon and lined with matching lace on the inside. I glanced at a small looking glass on the nearby chest, and gave a smile of approval. Even if most people would probably say the outfit was ridiculous or stupid, I loved it. It was unique, unheard of, and special: a memorable wardrobe for a witch who wanted to be just as memorable. I hummed the next few lines of the song, brushing back my still somewhat matted hair, hoping to keep it at least mostly straight and presentable after the rather disheveling ordeal of the storm on the previous night. Thankfully, it seemed like my hair's standard bleaching had managed to survive the water it had been exposed to, although it was now somewhat duller in hue thanks to the water. I pouted slightly, missing my hair's distinctive bright blue shade already, and preferring it infinitely to this blue-gray color. Still, it was better than ordinary old brown...

"I believe someday I’ll be able to accept everything, even if I cried and lost it all..." I had forgotten most of the words that came after this point, and ended up skipping to a point that I remembered a little better. "I believe, even in the dark, your voice casts a ray of hope. Take me away and guide me through to some place where I can breathe... Please come again when my tears dry. As soon as I wipe them off, the tears roll down again. I have nothing to hide, really, I just don't want let anyone see me in agony where I lie, still dreaming, at the bottom of the ocean, not even knowing which way is up or down. Floating with the sunlight all around me, at the bottom of the deep deep ocean..." I trailed off, at last finishing my grooming and, sweeping back my coat in an overdramatic fashion, I abandoned the song and turned to stride out on deck, hearing the voice of my friend calling me out, which abruptly halted my singing session.

Striding somewhat nervously onto the deck - even if I liked the outfit, I wasn't sure what Eden would think - I grinned sheepishly. "A-alright, I'm coming. Do you like the outfit?" I asked shyly. "I found it in my room and thought it looked interesting, so... If it's silly, I can always put it back and see if I can find something different..." I fidgeted with a side-curtain of my hair a bit, my gaze alternating between the deck and my companion's stoic expression, hoping that after what he had said about the old me that he wouldn't mind the somewhat witch-like appearance I now presented.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eric Evernalt Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt Character Portrait: Marie "Cleo" Cleophel Character Portrait: Ceridwen Nox
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Eden


Tori no Uta (Music Box)

"- do I feel comfortable, wandering alone in this dark cold place?" Eden suddenly heard singing. Although he knew he'd missed most of the song, he looked up, shocked. Xander almost tackled him to the ground but he stood with both feet

"I believe someday I’ll be able to accept everything, even if I cried and lost it all..." He recognised the song, the lyrics and found himself humming along unsurely, not recognising the voice. Well, he guessed it was Cleo, but then things just didn't add up. He didn't need to know, he needed to understand. "I believe, even in the dark, your voice casts a ray of hope. Take me away and guide me through to some place where I can breathe... Please come again when my tears dry. As soon as I wipe them off, the tears roll down again. I have nothing to hide, really, I just don't want let anyone see me in agony where I lie, still dreaming, at the bottom of the ocean, not even knowing which way is up or down. Floating with the sunlight all around me, at the bottom of the deep deep ocean..."

Eden stood there, completely stupefied as thoughts ran through his mind like rockets. Marie used to sing that song, but I haven't seen Marie for. . . . for forever. And this, this has to be Cleo because I know what Ceridwen sounds like when she sings. But it doesn't make sense! He thought, a small frown coming onto his face. He'd dazed off, but not in the same way as usual. No, this time, strange and intricate calculations were racing through his head as he tried to work out why he sort of recognised the voice, knew the song and yet it was a different person singing the song. Eden could have destroyed something in anger of not knowing at this point and was stoically pacing towards a barrel - even in the process of picking it up - when he heard another voice from the opposite side of the deck.

He paused in the position he was in, the barrel in his weak hands - fever induced, he liked to believe - and he was shaking from head to toe while he held the thing in his hands. Even the slight pressure of just not knowing something he felt was so important brought a feeling of nausea to his senses and he tried to suppress the childish sentiment. "A-alright, I'm coming. Do you like the outfit?" Eden was shocked, staring at the girl with wide eyes, and he suddenly felt rather annoyed again, but then he looked at her outfit. "I found it in my room and thought it looked interesting, so... If it's silly, I can always put it back and see if I can find something different..."

Boukenshatachi

A white blouse, covered by a light blue coat which seemed to have a rendition of a penguin tail jacket, though the 'tails' almost reached the girl's ankles. Her skirt was blue too, and she wore black stocking, plus a scarf. Eden, though, observed the navy blue hat with a white ribbon and more lace. To be honest, Eden wanted a similar hat and an idea struck him. He ran straight past Cleo and into his cabin, though he fell to his knees from the feeling of spinning as he opened the wardrobe doors. He rummaged through the clothing and finally found the hat. He placed it on his head quickly, as well as a waistcoat which was black and donned golden buttons. Eden threw the coat back on and grinned slightly, before dashing back out onto the deck. Skidding as he tried to stop, Eden came to a halt and threw his hands in the air, letting out a big "Tadaaa!"

He pointed to the sailor hat, which was slightly big and a bit lopsided on his head, though he didn't notice because it was tilted on the side with his fringe. It was a black color, bright yellow embroidery creating the 'captain' design at the center of the hat. Eden smiled like as child, Xander circling his legs. "See, I'm the Captain and you are. . . . " Brown eyes drifted to the slight point of the hat and his smile grew even wider. "You're the witch!" He said, before looking at Xander. "And you can be the Captain's dog, okay?" he said, and Xander barked, though he didn't have much of a clue what his owner was on about. Eden ran up to the bowsprit and jumped onto it, balancing carefully despite the twirling motion going on in his head.

"Today is the day for a great adventure!" he bellowed, placing his hands around his mouth, before turning towards Cleo. He was still balanced on the edge of the bowsprit, smiling brightly like a hyper child. "Unfortunately, our crew is on vacation, and they took all of our lifeboats, so we are stuck on this island together!" Eden began hopping from foot to foot towards the girl, his hands stretched at each sides to keep his balance. He made it back to the deck carefully, clasping his hands together. "I believe the only crew I will need is a witch and my dog, which is just as well because that just so happens to be the only crew I have on hand." Eden swayed for a few seconds, before standing up straight.

Mozaik Role

Eden ran to the edge of the ship and leant over the banister, before his head jumped up and he saw a group of people at the edge of the beach. "Cleo." he whispered, putting one knee up and resting his foot on the banister. "Cleo, I see people. They're racing t'ward us with weapons Cleo, so don't fail me as my only other crew member." He pointed at the children; they looked like they wanted to eat the two as dinner.

"Dog!" he heard one of them yell, and the other's responded even louder with the same shout. Xander whimpered and Eden chuckled slightly. It was sort of a 'no way in hell' moment, and he was feeling the excitement.

Although he hadn't noticed, people were climbing up the sides, but Eden seemed to believe he had enough game experience to be able to fight in real life. But he had some sort of common sense as as he went though the small menu of options, he only saw one way to make it out of there alive against this number of people. "Eric!" he yelled, before crouching into a small ball and coughing loudly, before springing back up. He opened his eyes sharply and he saw the person setting foot on the ground. They had pale skin, though it white, like a sheet, and they had strange, greyish skin and weird marks or their foreheads, all donning raven black hair. Eden stood and yelled for his brother once more, now yelling that it was an emergency, before breaking out into a fit of coughs again.




Eric



Just be Friends (Music Box)

“I-I. . . .” Ceridwen started, her voice cracking. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry Eric.” She had a dull, tired and regretful voice. Eric actually wanted to scream.

Eric blinked as the girl wrapped her arms around his middle and he felt slightly calm, but then he looked down and saw the tears in her eyes, creeping down her face. “I am happy that the promise was remembered; it was definitely one of the most precious things to me for a long while, but, I can’t stay the same anymore. I have to change. If I don’t grow then I’ll remain stagnant for the rest of my life, and I can’t have that.” The girl looked up at him and smiled, only to make the brunet frown slightly, “But, even if I do change, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to be me still . . . like you, you might’ve changed, but you’re still Eric, aren’t you? Change is necessary, isn’t it?”

“I’m sorry if that still means you won’t keep your promise to ‘Rii,’ but even with this change, that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be ‘Rii’ anymore, it just means that I’ll be ‘Rii 2.0.’ There will be more to me, but I’ll be growing from the same core as my old self. So . . . please, don’t be upset about it, this is something I need, have needed.”

The Evernalt boy laughed. "Well, as long as Rii 2.0 isn't some sort of creepy robot, I guess change would be okay." Eric said, smiling amiably. He patted her on the head, holding her close as if she were fragile and then broke away from the hug at the sound of his name being called. It didn't sound like Eden was joking; he sounded deadly serious in his shout but Eric ignored it. "He's probably just playing a stupid game." His name was called once more, along with a shout about an emergency and Eric sighed. He patted Ceridwen on the head again, before stepping out.

Mozaik Role

Eric looked at the people on the ship, surrounding Eden and Cleo as his brother stood very still. He seemed to be protecting something, something by his ankles and as Eric got nearer, he saw it was Xander. So wait, of all the things on the ship, they went for the dog? Eric looked almost baffled, before he picked up a big piece of wood and swung it down onto a head. The weird, grey-skinned person groaned and fell to the floor, unconscious. Eden looked at him angrily.

"I'm sorry, I believe I was calling you for help, not to knock one of them out." Eden said, though Eric could hear his voice was weak. Of course, he couldn't depend on Eden and Ceridwen to fight, but he could (maybe) depend on Cleo this time. Maybe with the strength between them - or rather, the assumed strength between them - Eric decided that they could take out this group of ten (or so) and looked over at Eden, who seemed now to be breathing heavily and holding onto Cleo's shoulder for support. Then, he saw Eden click his fingers and Xander jumped onto one of the villagers, knocking him to the ground and distracting the others while Eden picked up a long, thinnish stick which could somewhat be used as a wooden sword. Eden held it out in front of him and Eric saw someone running towards his brother. At least two of these islanders ran towards Cleo, while two ran towards him and the others were either going towards Eden or trying to get Xander off their friend.

Eden, however, seemed to be dodging all their attacks perfectly; almost as if he knew what they were going to do in advance. Eric could even feel the slight presence of someone behind him and he swung around quickly to knock the islander to the floor. "Eden!" he shouted. "Stop fighting, you'll just wear yourself out!" Eric shouted.

"Oh, who was it who said exercise was good in the morning and forced me to go to a snowball fight yesterday even-" Eden's sight cut off suddenly and he seemed to blank out completely on the spot, as if his eyes had just unfocused, but he snapped back to the situation at hand and jabbed one of the islanders in their stomach forcefully, making them double over.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eric Evernalt Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt Character Portrait: Marie "Cleo" Cleophel Character Portrait: Ceridwen Nox
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Ceridwen


She only felt relief when it was he laughed . . . it wasn’t a bitter laugh, it was a genuine one. The way she had stated things, it had sounded a bit weird, not exactly serious considering the fact that she was talking about shifting so much into becoming another person, so it’d definitely been something someone could laugh at. She didn’t want Eric to be upset with her for wanting to change, no, really, he was the one who’d convinced her to take the plunge, to stop clinging so tightly onto her old self with only fear for the new. For him to become upset with her for that would’ve just been horrible. He wasn’t though, so it was all right, her changing would be all right. Like she’d said, she wasn’t going to wholly lose herself in this, she was just going to grow, change and develop new tendencies and all that.

It’d been five years, and she’d remained the same person in that timeframe entirely, only having grown to become a coward toward facing the future. Her cowardice had been the only new thing to develop within her since she’d been twelve, and now at seventeen Ceridwen finally knew it was time to let go and to allow herself to grow up.

Having the support of those who called her a friend before, and hopefully still after, made it feel easier to accept whatever might be coming her way next. Time did indeed work in strange ways, beginning to pull them apart, only for them to allow the rifts to become wider over time, only to wind up shoving them all back together one day before jettisoning them off into who knew where on what used to be their playground years before. . . . And not even a day after that, she was ready to change herself, had come to realize that she was guilty of so much wrong and of being scared in the last few years—and she’d gotten sick too, for the first time in a long while. Definitely, Time was weird. But, she had to be thankful to it too, despite what she’d thought before, though she had entirely blamed it for what’d happened, Ceridwen now understood that Time was just doing what it had to do in order to make things progress. Things grew, changed and developed with Time’s assistance, sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad. Whether or not all that had happened before was for either the good or bad, Ceridwen would never know, because it had happened.

During that timeframe too, she’d clung onto what had been instead of what was happening, and that had to be for the bad . . . so, hopefully what would be coming next was for the good.

“As long as Rii 2.0 isn’t some sort of creepy robot, I guess change would be okay.” Eric smiled as he said that, patting her on the head before he held onto her as if she were made of the most delicate sort of glass, like she was going to break. She was thankful for the fact that he wasn’t upset, she didn’t want anyone to be upset with her, but even if he had been . . . Ceridwen felt like she would’ve gone ahead and undergone the change she needed anyway, and would hope that Eric could’ve accepted her new self in time.

I don’t know what this means for our promise, but, I’m at least happy that he remembered it . . . and that it really wasn’t a delusion caused by a too-high fever. she thought, still smiling before it was she heard a panicked call from Eden, calling for his brother. The smile left her pallor face as a questioning expression formed over instead.

Eric, of course, broke away from the hug, leaving Ceridwen to support her own weight with her jellylike legs. The suddenness of having to hold herself up like that made the girl seek out the support of the nearby wall, leaning against it while still having a contemplative look upon her features. Wondering why it was Eden had sounded so desperate in calling for Eric. Was something up . . . ? Eden had sounded serious, extremely so, Ceridwen believed she still knew enough about him to think that she knew when he wasn’t kidding around; and he hadn’t sounded like he was. Her lavender eyes flittered over to Eric who spoke, “He’s probably just playing a stupid game.” he said, sounding only half-sure.

But then, Eden called out again, something about an emergency. This made Ceridwen’s eyes widen, and her heart skip a beat which about threw her into a fit of coughs. Eric sighed, before he patted her on the top of the head again, before treading out of the interior of the ship, leaving her to her lonesome. Following this, she broke into a series of coughs, barely find the ability to breathe between them or after, these hurt—for a bit there, she’d almost forgotten she was sick, she’d stopped coughing and the aching she had been feeling had seemed to ebb away in the face of other issues. But suddenly, it was back, almost full force it felt like.

Nearly doubled over, Ceridwen was still supporting most of her weight on the wall, but when it was the coughing subsided enough for her to take in some shallow breaths of air, the girl’s thoughts quickly began to spin upon the desperate call Eden had put out for his brother. Change or not, deep thought and issues of the sort need to go on the backburner, cause I know something’s up.

Forcing a deep breath into her lungs, resisting the coughs which wanted to come, she pushed herself away from the wall and took to walking the same way Eric head, heading for the deck of the ship to see what was happening. They weren’t home anymore, this wasn’t there world, because in Am Caillte there was no such thing as blue sand or islands that had immunity to the weather of the outside world. . . . So, she couldn’t have known what to expect when it was she took her first step back outside. Of all the things though, she definitely wasn’t expecting to see people with grey skin trying to attack her friends. The skin color threw her off for a moment, making her freeze in place as all thought stopped for a second, her eyes widened and her breathing hitched. Whether she was the old Ceridwen or the new, one thing was for sure, neither of her two selves would have known how to react to this.

Despite everything though, the danger of the situation and the definite direness of it all, the first thing that Ceridwen managed to do when it was her brain turned itself back on from its temporary shutdown was to muster up a shocked, questioning shout of, “Z-Zombies!!” in regards to the grey-skinned folk. Of course, her brain would register these people as being zombies of all things . . . grey skin, weird markings and black hair; that was how they were always depicted in movies. . . .

Ceridwen stood where she was, in place completely frozen it seemed, as she didn’t move at all to yet do anything about the ‘zombies’ assaulting her friends. Zombies, crap, what do you do against zombies again?! Her mind raced, trying to remember the ground rules for how one would combat a zombie properly. Heart racing within her chest, the only thing she could now hear was the dull thudding of it within her ears; she could feel the blood rushing through her veins as adrenalin kicked in. Eden and Eric were fighting with what looked like large pieces of wood debris, maybe from when that part of the ship had broken yesterday just before all this had started . . . seems they were bludgeoning the zombies into unconsciousness, or were trying to. How many were there . . . ? She could spot, maybe eight or nine, but were there more?

Even though she wasn’t aware of it, Ceridwen’s body had taken to a more defensive stance as she took in all that was happening around her, trying to work out what she should do. And, though it was just for a moment, and even though she couldn’t explain it in the least . . . Ceridwen swore that she actually could . . . smell danger. Her body tensed up in response to this, and her eyes went way wide as she stopped breathing following this, the only thing registering within her brain was to be wary. However, her eyes caught movement in the way of shifting shadows, the way the sun was facing at the moment, it was casting a shadow partway over her form, from behind her. Though the shadows were even and smooth across the deck of the ship, save for the top of her form, she’d seen the shadows move, and with her eyes still cast onto that place, it happened again—the figure of a person rose up, standing upon the raised part of the ship above her and suddenly sprang up, a cry coming from them.

Knowing what was coming, what the zombie-person was trying to do, Ceridwen suddenly dove to the side, rolling on her should until it was she was crouched down, kneeling with a hand set to the wooden deck. There was the sound of a thud, someone landing, and with this noise she tipped her gaze back to where it was she’d been standing two seconds before to see that there was indeed one of the zombies hunched over there . . . a large one at that. It was definitely a guy though. . . .

He rose his head up, and turned his own eyes upon her, quickly ascending back to his feet while she did the same in response. Ceridwen’s breathing was already growing harsh from this, and the urge to cough was trying to return, but she resisted it all she could, knowing that she couldn’t afford to break into a fit of those at the moment. “There is no way I’m going to get turned into zombie-chow now!”

A tentative step backward was taken by her, and as soon as this little movement was made, the zombie who’d tried to pounce on her from above before launched himself at her, trying to grab at her with both his arms, only he managed to miss and wound up more or less hugging himself when it was Ceridwen quickly ducked down before he could come into contact with her. Stooped down, sitting like the frogs she wore as patterns on her boots, a serious look formed over her pale face when it was moved as quickly as she could manage, sweeping her leg out from underneath her, knocking the ‘zombie’ before her down onto his backside without warning while shouting, “Rule one when dealing with a zombie, avoid the triangle zone of the hands, arms and the mouth!”

With him down, she wasted no time in getting back up to her feet as quickly as she could manage, and though that made her feel dizzy, Ceridwen quickly shook it off, quivering with anxiety and something akin to fear for the situation. Fighting alone was one thing, but her friends were also in danger as well, zombies were attacking them all after all. A couple were headed for Marie, but others were ganging up on Eden, Eric and . . . Xander too. Who did she . . . ? There were more going for the Evernalt brothers than for Marie. Taking in another deep breath, Ceridwen stepped back before bounding off, hopping overtop the ‘zombie’ she’d knocked off his feet, who now seemed to be unconscious.

The girl put forth all she had into sprinting before leaping up into the air again, shouting “BONZAI!!” as loud as she could manage while it was she tackled one of the zombies with as much force as her body could muster, taking down one of those who were going at Eden and Eric.

She landed on top of the ‘zombie’ who groaned loudly when it was they hit the deck of the ship, the force of their own fall and Ceridwen’s comboed together. Despite having her fall broken, Ceridwen still managed up a grunt when she hit the deck with the zombie. Even if she was sick, Ceridwen was sure as Hell going to do everything within her little body’s power to protect her friends. She’d been enough of a coward in doing so for the last few years—and now was the time she choose to change. And this was the beginning of it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eric Evernalt Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt Character Portrait: Marie "Cleo" Cleophel Character Portrait: Ceridwen Nox
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BGM: Hope

I watched, somewhat confused, as Eden darted past me all of a sudden, rushing into his cabin. For a moment, I worried that I might have gone too far, and brought back memories of my old self, making him angry, but in the next instant, I realized that it was exactly the opposite, for in the blink of an eye, Eden had reemerged, now wearing a delightfully ridiculous officer's outfit, complete with a battered, but quite dignified looking old seaman's cap. With a childish smile I knew and loved, he began to explain the game he had in mind, proclaiming himself to be the captain of the ship, and myself his witch, an old game we had played many times before, back in the old days. It seemed he still enjoyed the idea, a thought which brought me a great deal of hope, relief, and happiness. Eden was still Eden, and, perhaps someday, I could be the witch by his side once again.

With a bright and happy smile, I nodded enthusiastically, doffing my oversized hat and giving a somewhat comical salute. "Aye aye, captain!" I replied raucously, the light morning breeze rustling my coat, scarf, and hair all at once, making it look as though I was poking out from within a great, billowing blue and white cloud. As he finished his speech and ran over to the side, seeming to prepare to leap down onto the beach below. I was right behind him, ready to follow, but at that moment, he stopped dead in his tracks, and I did the same, for we'd both seen the very same thing.

"Cleo, I see people. They're racing t'ward us with weapons Cleo, so don't fail me as my only other crew member."

BGM: dreamenddischarger

It was perhaps the thing I had feared most since we made land, now come to life and racing down upon us. This island... it wasn't as uninhabited as we had thought. And, worse yet, these natives didn't seem very keen on letting us disembark here. Rather, it looked like they wanted to make us their dinner - or, more specifically, wanted to make Eden's canine friend their dinner. Which was just as bad, because if they did that, they'd be stealing Eden's precious companion, and that was something, I, as his witch and friend, could not allow. Still, I realized, I had no pre-prepared spells on hand, and I'd never exactly invented any offensive magics before, anyway. Well, I admittedly had tried once or twice, but the results had ended, respectively, with my eyebrows singed off, and the inside of my tower filled with a putrid pink smoke, two rather extreme failures which had dissuaded me from any further experiments. Anyway, the point was that I could hardly have been said to be prepared for a battle of any sort, let alone a last stand against so many enemies all at once. Worse yet, however, Eden didn't seem like he was in any shape to fight, either, for he had already begun to cough heavily, clinging to my shoulder for support. Weakly, he cried out for help, calling for Eric, but he only managed to get two such pleas out before the enemies were upon us, climbing nimbly up the hull of the derelict and springing onto the deck, swiftly surrounding us completely. Even though I could make out Eric and Ceridwen emerging from the cabin across from us, there were so many of the islanders in between that I wasn't sure they'd be able to help us before we were overwhelmed. That meant... I should do something to protect Eden, right? But... my hands had lost all their color. It was pathetic, but looking down, I could see myself shaking. What was I supposed to do? A witch without magic might as well not have been a witch at all, and I wasn't strong, or skilled, or even particularly physically fit. I was just a hopeless, weak shut-in who couldn't do a thing if I tried, so what... what was I supposed to do? I couldn't rely on myself to fight all these people! D-damnit, what should I do? I... I'm scared! My body won't move... I'm shaking... I'm... afraid... somebody, help!

To my surprise, my pleas were answered in an instant, for even though I had never spoken a word, both Eden and Eric seemed to understand, and despite the former's weakness, he sprung into action to protect me. Sicking Xander on one of the islanders, he reached down and, grasping a long wooden pole, brought it to bear against two of the enemies, deftly evading each attack they brought to bear, then countering with two of his own, felling a pair of our foes in an instant. As Eric, too, took up a large log and began beating down several, and Ceridwen began talking about zombies - Really? Was that what these were? I thought they were ghouls... Or maybe some kind of evil cultists... If these were bodies reanimated by a necromancer, they should have been a lot less coherent. At least, that was what I had assumed. Maybe my research was just outdated... Still, Ceridwen seemed to know what she was talking about, so I supposed they might have been zombies after all - taking out several as she did so, I found myself feeling less and less frightened. Maybe they weren't so tough after all... And, with my friends across the way growing ever closer, and Eden valiantly defending me like a knight protecting his princess, I felt the warmth of determination returning to my once-chilled limbs.

A sharp cry snapped me to attention. Ready or not, it seemed I'd have to face the enemy regardless, for now two were coming in at me quite rapidly, with a third hot on their heels. Still, I wasn't scared of them... I had my friends by my side! There was no way I'd let any of them down now, not after being useless for so long. Because I wasn't Marie, the helpless shut-in... Right now, even if I didn't have my magic to help me, I was Cleo, the witch!

Swiping my hat from my head, I raised it in front of me, and spoke in a loud, clear voice. "And now, for my next trick... I will pull a rabbit out of this hat!" Just as expected, the two attackers stopped dumbly in their tracks, gazing in confusion and surprise at me as I stared them down fearlessly. Evidently, intelligence wasn't their strong suit - perhaps they really were zombies after all - and if they were hungry enough to eat a dog, I figured a rabbit would do just as well to suit their tastes.

"Ra...bbit?" One of them asked. "Really? Can I have it? Rabbits are-" He got no further with his stupid sentence, for in an instant, I had crossed the distance between us and slammed the hat hard into his face, muffling his cry of surprise as, blinded, he stumbled backwards and fell over the side, plopping into the water with a loud splash.

"No, you can't!" I replied decisively, dusting off my hat and donning it once again. "Consider yourself honored to be struck with my precious hat." Turning upon the remaining two attackers with a smirk, I noticed the sudden confusion in their faces. Evidently, my sudden change in attitude had surprised and baffled them. Well, then, I'd milk that confusion for all it was worth!

Their momentary hesitation did not last. In another instant, they resumed their charge, splitting one to either side of me. Trapped as I was against the bows of the ship, I couldn't move out of the way. They'd caught me! Desperately, I searched for some means of escape, and, as both raised their fists in unison to strike in a pincer from both sides, my mind settled upon a delightfully simple plan. I just had to time it right. Wait for it... wait for it... now!

Ducking at the last moment, I gave a quiet giggle as the two boisterous oafs struck each other in the faces, each stumbling backward from the staggering blow they had been dealt, leaving me free to simply stroll calmly through the newly created opening between them as they crashed to the moldy wooden deck with a loud thud. I could hear the boards creaking beneath them, just on the edge of breaking, but, to my disappointment, the deck did not shatter and send them falling down below, and in an instant, they had begun to rise again, shaking themselves off and preparing for another attack. But, I could still hear faint cracking from beneath their feet... If I could just keep them on that spot a little longer...

Reaching into my pocket, I searched for something, anything, that might serve as a distraction. Since these clothes seemed to have been left me based on my own personal thoughts and preferences, I thought, perhaps, whatever magic had done this might also have left me some sort of flashy accessory to serve exactly this purpose. I was not disappointed, for in the next moment, I had removed from my breast pocket a large watch hung on a golden chain. Flipping it open in a quite melodramatic manner, I hammered down on a rather prominent button to stop the clock's movement, normally used to change the time... although what I had in mind would work just as well.

As they closed in on me once again, I did not even turn to face them, instead strolling calmly off of the now slowly cracking floorboards.

"It's useless!" I said suddenly, my exclamation halting them in their tracks. "Time will now stop!" I punctuated this admittedly rather silly declaration by raising the watch for them to see. With a tick, the second hand moved once... and then abruptly froze. It seemed my voice had reached the others, too, for they stopped dead in their tracks also, unsure what they should make of my strange words.

With a loud snap, the floorboards began to give way, and I released the button, the next tock of the second hand resounding, followed by a smash and a thud as the deck broke apart beneath the two clumsy fools, sending them plummeting away and out of sight.

"Time will now flow," I concluded, taking my already ridiculous performance up another notch by sweeping my hand back, shutting the watch while at the same time sending my billowing scarf and coattails whirling out around me, creating the image that a momentarily suspended wind had once more begun to blow. In truth, I'd simply timed my show of stage performance with the ebb and flow of the breeze, purposefully cultivating this image to milk my display for all it was worth. With a smirk, I watched as chaos once more broke loose on the deck, with the confused islanders returning to what they were doing before, not sure exactly what had just happened.

My momentary feeling of victory was, however, cut off my a sudden yell from my left, giving me just enough time to leap partially out of the way as one of the more nimble islanders struck a hard blow into my gut. Even this somewhat averted impact was enough to pick me up off my feet, sending me rolling across the deck in a confused heap for several feet before I finally regained control of myself, rising with a groan. Had I not reacted as quickly, I realized, that single punch probably would have been enough to break most of my ribs. As it was, I knew I was going to be feeling the bruises the attack and my subsequent tumbling had given me for a long time.

As this next enemy came on, I realized to my dismay that I wouldn't be able to eliminate him as easily as the others. My best tricks of confusion and nonsensical displays of stage magic had already been used up for the most part, and I doubted they'd work a third time, anyway. But worse yet, this was an enemy who was both fast and frightfully strong, which meant I'd be hard pressed to overcome him. His impossible strength and speed was on the level of a physical reinforcement enchantment of at least level five or higher, a field in which I, by comparison, was horribly weak. While a simple disenchantment spell would suffice to sap this unnatural ability, I would need a ritual circle for that, and I had no time nor materials to draw one, which yet again rendered my magic ineffective in this situation. Even worse still, Eden, Ceridwen, and Eric were all too far away to aid me in time. For this fight... I was outmatched, disadvantaged, and on my own.

Leaping back to evade a sharp right hook, I found myself backpedaling swiftly before a furious assault of punches that blurred together in a nonsensical tornado of attacks, sweeping me ever backward until I found myself pinned against the mainmast. The boy gave a triumphant cry that sounded something like "Ora!" - an ironic choice, considering the outdated reference I'd used to defeat the last pair - and brought down a final, sweeping punch aimed at the top of my skull. Was this it? If that blow connected, he'd surely bash my brains right out of my head... Maybe that was what he wanted? If he did that, he could eat them to his heart's content. Ceridwen had been right! These enemies were... zombies!

But there was no time to dwell on this matter. There were much more pressing issues at hand, like how to escape from this finishing move. I couldn't move to the sides, or I'd simply be pinned against the railing and forced to either meet my death there, or leap overboard and into the ocean, which, given the air temperature, was probably frigidly cold in comparison. I already wasn't much of a swimmer, which made this route of escape doubtful. I couldn't move forward or back, and down was similarly out of the question, so that only left one direction...

Darting aside at the last instant, I swept my hand up, once again opening the casing of the watch and shoving it directly in the boy's face, using the reflection of the sunlight off of its excessively shiny surface to momentarily blind him. "Back, foul undead! In the name of the sun, I banish you with the spirit of light!" I shouted, now sounding less like some ridiculously hammy actor and more like a stereotypical magical girl. Still, the sudden flash of light and loud noise seemed to baffle him for a moment, giving me the split second of time I needed to slide the watch back into my pocket, and, with my hands now freed up, to grasp hold of the rigging and quickly begin scrambling up the mast. By the time the boy had recovered from his surprise, I was already quite beyond his reach. Still, he was a rather persistent sort, and began to swiftly follow me up, gaining on my lead frightfully quickly. I realized that, yet again, I was trapped. If I attempted to scamper into the crow's nest and hold my position there, he would be able to catch me by the leg and drag me down while I clumsily scaled the sides of the perch. With this option closed to me, and no shelter within jumping distance, I tried to think up another plan of escape. Naturally, the most logical direction would be straight down, but even if that had worked for Eden and I earlier, now that the story had reached a critical point, I seriously doubted the effectiveness of my plot armor. If I was simply immune to my enemies, it wouldn't be a good tale at all. If I jumped now, I would probably get seriously hurt to add drama to the story. Still, that gave me an idea...

With a triumphant cry, the zombie-boy came upon me, clawing upward at my heels and forcing me to continue my flight. But, as he reached up after me, I abruptly did the unexpected. Instead of evading his grasp, I suddenly kicked downward, batting back his hand with a powerful strike that knocked him back, overbalancing him and nearly toppling him from the rigging. Wasting no time, I dug in my heel against the center strand of the flimsy, corroded ropes, and then, with all my might, I tore them violently asunder.

With a loud snap, rope after rope abruptly gave way, giving my pursuer no time to regain his balance as the rigging that had, until that point, suspended him, suddenly came loose and dropped him mercilessly to the deck below, where he landed with a thud and a crash. But, to my surprise, this didn't quite finish him, for, however shakily, he slowly began to rise to his feet once again. Worsening my situation, the ropes holding me up were already beginning to snap from the strain, slowly preparing to send Jill tumbling after, so to speak. In that case, I had no choice... I had to use my ultimate attack, and finish him off now! Twisting myself to the side where I now hung limply from the torn rigging, I brought my full weight, however meager, to bear, sending me swinging far out to the opposite side of the mast. The rigging was only seconds from giving way now, but it would last... it had to last! Just a few moments more, and then...

As the last bits of rope from which I hung began to rip and tear, I reached the apex of my swing, and then came about like a pendulum, sweeping back with tremendous force as, at last, the rigging finally and completely snapped. I was flying freely through the air now, streaking down like a comet upon my hapless and helpless adversary. Raising my foot, I couldn't resist giving one final shout.

"Finishing Move: Rider Kick!"

Then, with a thunderous crash, I connected, planting my booted foot firmly into the top of the boy's head, smacking him hard against the deck as though I was playing a twisted game of whack-a-mole. With a crash, he was bashed harshly against the floor, then smashed with completely excessive violence clean through it, joining his two comrades below decks. I, meanwhile, went sailing overhead, carried by the sheer force of my flight, and, although I took several rather painful bounces across the deck, I at last came to a stop against the railing, thudding against it and collapsing weakly. For a moment, I lay still, too stunned - not to mention agonized - to move just yet, and it might have appeared as though I had collapsed after my final victory, like that one character from that famous boxing manga. But, pained though I was, that was a distinctly different genre from this story, and I was one of the main characters. I wasn't about to faint that easily... although, admittedly, I did feel as though I was about to.

"Heh... That... was...." I gasped out at last, slowly raising my tired but unbowed head and giving a triumphant smirk. "Probably... really stupid. But it was cool, and what's more..." I grinned, adjusting the oversized hat that still sat perched atop my head as I rose tenderly to my feet, leaning against the railing for support so as not to either collapse or aggravate my many painful scrapes and bruises.

"I've still got my hat," I finished, giving a massive, childish grin and a V-for-victory sign.

(Yeah, that's right, Cleo fights using cartoon tactics, stage magic, and anime references. Why, you ask? Answer: for teh lulz.)

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eric Evernalt Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt Character Portrait: Marie "Cleo" Cleophel Character Portrait: Ceridwen Nox
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Eden & Eric


Coward Mont Blanc

Eden watched Cleo with growing admiration, but failed to see the zombie-people (whom were henceforth dubbed 'zombies' due to Ceridwen's assumption that they were, in fact, zombies). It took a few shouts of his name by Eric for him to actually pay attention to what was going on around him and he suddenly drew his makeshift wooden katana up, before putting it vertically straight. He had learnt from Cleo's attacks towards the zombies that he had to stay in character as the captain. And, after all, a captain must fall with his ship. And so, Eden breathed in deeply, his eyes closed as the grey-skinned creatures started stepping towards him slowly, glares on their faces at they stared at him.

The brunet just smiled, before opening his eyes with a childish confidence, and he placed both hands on the katana between his hands. He angled it carefully, and aimed it at his opponent, mentally putting a lock on him in his head. The blue ring around the zombie in his eyes made Eden smiled, before he decided he should name all his attacks. "Meteor Strike!" he yelled, jabbing the zombie with full force. The zombie-person-thing doubled over, gasping, and Eden took the time to house a round kick to the zombie's head, knocking him over completely. Before he could even do anything, a barrel fell and smashed on the zombie, a golden, foamy liquid spreading out around the zombie while he lay on the floor. Eric seemed shocked behind belief. "There was beer in those?! Holy crap!" he exclaimed, observing the liquid around the zombie. Hesitantly, he dipped a finger into a puddle and licked it. "It's. . . . . It's faenir!" he said happily, standing with two log-like shapes. He gave one of the log-things to Eden, who dropped his katana and smiled.

"Baseball bat." he deemed it, swinging around behind him quickly, hitting one of the zombies square in the head. He rose, a growl forming in his throat, and Eden hopped back a few steps, using the damp floor to his advantage by gliding across it. He pulled down his captain hat and one of the zombies started running towards him. With a quick slide, he had slid under his feet and sent the creature flying, before rising to his feet. The slide had grazed his lower legs, but he ignored the pain. Something grabbed hold of his body and sent him flying upwards in the air. Sudden vertigo made Eden widen his eyes, before he focused on his target. "Lock-on!" he shouted, bringing the bat well above his head before swinging it down when he was above his deemed victim. The crack didn't even make Eden flinch, but something tackled him to the ground.

The zombie person looked like a girl, since she had a flowing white dress which was frayed and ripped, and an old summer hat perched on her thin, jet-black hair. Eden rocked back, before propelling his legs upwards and kicking the girl-zombie in the stomach, before he used his bat for a sideways hit as she tried to rise. Eden went through strange controls in his head and he sighed, composing his excitement. Left kick, right punch. . . . f-falcon? he thought awkwardly. Then, he felt the bump on his head. His cold hands felt like ice against it and he relaxed, feeling the world wavering quickly.

Eric, however, was swinging around the biggest log he could find like it was nothing, sending zombies flying off the ship and into the sea below without even having to interact with them. Every once in a while, once of the zombies would try and leap onto his back, but he would just spin around and around in circles while hitting his targets, making the zombie on his back dizzy. Then, the zombie would let go and he would smash them onto the deck.

However, the real problem was when his log was stolen. He stared at the zombie with the most rage he could and launched himself towards the zombie, leaping perfectly so he landed on the grey-skinned creature and they skidded on the floor. His log was gone, somewhere unfindable since one of the other zombies had thrown it into the sea. Eric took a few moments to worship his makeshift brick-like item and then pounded his fist into the zombies head, knocking him out in one go.

Eden was running from one side of the deck to the other, avoiding his pursuers, two of them, while also trying not to get in Cleo and Ceridwen's way. After all, one of them was a witch and the other a ninja. Eden truly felt like he didn't have to worry about them. Then, something behind him had pulled him up by a tight hold around and he kicked his legs to catch onto the zombie's head. He separated his legs, before bringing them together and smashed his head between his feet. He dropped Eden suddenly and the brown haired boy fell on the ground with a thud, breaking out into a coughing fit.

Luckily enough for them, Eden could see that the crowd had been largely disposed of, there being only one or two zombies left, as well as the one who was still following him but was injured and had given up on running. Eden stood and ran past him, before hiding behind the zombie and tripped him up, looking unpleasantly at the easy win before he straightened his hat.

"Well." he said calmly, putting both hands on his hips like a child. "Let's go exploring." Eden smiled, before hopping off the side of the ship, floating just centimetres above the sand. Xander leapt too and they began walking, the dog barking loudly. Then, all of a sudden, the boy and dog howled together in victory and jumped in the air. Eric just sighed, before jumping off the side to follow.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eric Evernalt Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt Character Portrait: Marie "Cleo" Cleophel
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I watched as the last of the enemies were taken care of one by one, catching the last part of a spectacular and more than a little bit terrifying rampage from Eric, and the last of Eden's final counterattack, even as I stood against the side, catching my breath. Swinging down from halfway up the mast and crashing into the ground wasn't exactly the most pleasant thing I'd done in recent memory, and my body was still crying out with protest against my recklessness. My head was spinning, and my heart ran ragged, and fast. If I didn't faint from the impact, I had a feeling I'd be fainting from the exertion, instead. It was pretty pathetic, but I never claimed to be in any sort of good physical shape. I was a locked-up girl, shut away from the world in my tower and watching things go by without even moving myself. My body was frail, and my heart was weak. Just watching as Eden and the others swiftly dispatched the remaining islanders, I couldn't help but feel like a doll sitting on a shelf, watching its owners go about their lives. If my masters motivated me to act, pulled my string or wound my key or what have you, I could do so, but afterwards, what was I but an inanimate, immobile figure of fragile porcelain? They'd all become so strong since I had last seen them, while I'd only become even more frail and weak. Even if I had spent all those years expanding my knowledge and continuing to attempt magic, I could list the number of successes I had achieved on just five of my fingers, and that wouldn't even use all of them. Once again, I found myself in their care, relying on them, while I did little to help and just got in the way, causing miniature disaster areas to do what I couldn't accomplish myself and hampering the coordination of my three companions. Even after all this time... I was still just as useless as back then, wasn't I? And even if I'd finally found my long lost friends, how long could this situation last before I was just left behind again? It would be just like that day, all over again. The amassed hopes and dreams of our every meeting, held before my eyes, and then dropped into the darkness, never to be seen again...

A triumphant call from over the railing snapped me back from my gloomy thoughts, bringing my attention once more to reality. Our attackers defeated, Eden evidently was firmly resolved to continue with his original plan, and to explore the island. He had wanted me to come along, though, hadn't he? Well, I had to admit, I was curious, and even if I wasn't, I'd never deny him for any reason, least of all now that I was once more by his side. That meant... I had to get up and walk with him, didn't it? Ah, but it hurt so much... I did not look forward to this at all, and yet, I had no option but to steel myself and carry on. My key had been wound up, which meant that, for my esteemed caretaker's sake, I would just have to rise and walk.

And so I did so, slowly hauling myself over the railing and dropping down after the Everalt siblings, both of whom had already gone over the side. It was a little strange, stopping in mid-air just a few inches above the shallow water along the shore, but a few clumsy steps brought me stumbling across the strangely solid surface of the tide and onto real earthen soil...

...where I promptly tripped over nothing at all, overbalanced by the dizziness I yet felt, my senses still reeling from the impact I had suffered. Miscalculating the distance of my stride, I ended up toppling precariously forward. Immediately, my feet rushed out on instinct to catch myself, but this only made matters worse, for a sudden spark of pain flared through the leg I'd used to deal my finishing move, warning me not to press my luck by placing any weight on the badly jarred limb and aggravating my bruises further. Freezing mid-motion, I thus completely overturned my weight before I even fully realized what was happening, and flopped rather pitifully upon my face in the sand, my hat falling from my head just as I fell, then slowly floating down upon me as I lay nigh-motionless, a wave of searing pain filling every fiber of my being as all of my new bruises screamed their pain into my mind in unison. I let out a quiet cry, then a gasp, then a groan, three sounds which fused together into a nonsensical "Ayakyuu!" that slowly trailed off into the sandy ground that I had faceplanted in. Weakly, I braced myself against my hands and tried to stand up, but the pain I felt swiftly convinced me to do otherwise. Giving another groan, I flopped back down, blinking back tears from the pain that even still assaulted me. I just hoped Eden wouldn't mind, but it really, really hurt. I didn't want to move... not like this.

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View All » Add Character » 6 Characters to follow in this universe

Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt
Character Portrait: Marie "Cleo" Cleophel
Character Portrait: Coraline Duner
Character Portrait: Alexander Minki Alois
Character Portrait: Eric Evernalt

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Character Portrait: Eric Evernalt
Eric Evernalt

"Shh, just let me solve everything. . ." (WIP)

Character Portrait: Alexander Minki Alois
Alexander Minki Alois

"A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere."

Character Portrait: Coraline Duner
Coraline Duner

"W-What? I didn't hear you."

Character Portrait: Marie "Cleo" Cleophel
Marie "Cleo" Cleophel

"I'm invisible. You cannot see me."

Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt
Eden Evernalt

"Life's just a game I have yet to complete."

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Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt
Eden Evernalt

"Life's just a game I have yet to complete."

Character Portrait: Coraline Duner
Coraline Duner

"W-What? I didn't hear you."

Character Portrait: Alexander Minki Alois
Alexander Minki Alois

"A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere."

Character Portrait: Marie "Cleo" Cleophel
Marie "Cleo" Cleophel

"I'm invisible. You cannot see me."

Character Portrait: Eric Evernalt
Eric Evernalt

"Shh, just let me solve everything. . ." (WIP)

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Character Portrait: Eden Evernalt
Eden Evernalt

"Life's just a game I have yet to complete."

Character Portrait: Alexander Minki Alois
Alexander Minki Alois

"A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere."

Character Portrait: Eric Evernalt
Eric Evernalt

"Shh, just let me solve everything. . ." (WIP)

Character Portrait: Coraline Duner
Coraline Duner

"W-What? I didn't hear you."

Character Portrait: Marie "Cleo" Cleophel
Marie "Cleo" Cleophel

"I'm invisible. You cannot see me."


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