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Anastasia Guillory

"The optimist sees the opportunity in every hardship; the pessimist sees the hardship in every opportunity."

0 · 1,507 views · located in Cross Academy

a character in “Vampire Knight: The Devil's Dance”, originally authored by Ion, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description




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Reborn; Powerful Will or Desire | A Powerful Desire Reborn; The Rebirth of a Strong Will
My name? I suppose I’ve never thought about whether it suits me or not. It shouldn’t matter anyway, right? It’s just a name.




Theme

The Paper Kites - Bloom
Sia - Soon We'll Be Found
The Goo Goo Dolls - Iris
The Rasmus - No Fear




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Who, me? There’s not really a whole lot to tell. I’m just… well, I’m pretty boring, really. What about you?




Nickname
[ Ana | Annie | Gilly | Gil ]

Age
[ 17 ]

Gender
[ Female ]

Race
[ Human ]

Role:
[ Cross Academy Transfer Student ]

Face Claim:
[ Orihime Inoue | BLEACH ]




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Ehe, it’s a little weird isn’t it? I swear though, I was born with hair this color!




Hair Color
[ Burnt Orange | Ochre | Cinnabar ]

Eye Color
[ Grey | Slate ]

Skin Tone
[ Medium ]

Height
[ 5’2” ]

Weight
[ 110 ]

Physical Description
[ Anastasia stands out in a crowd because of her hair. It’s not exactly the most common color in the world, and she wears it long, so it’s kind of hard not to notice in a crowd of people. That said, it’s not all that bad—people get used to it after a while, and then it’s not such a big deal. The hue is something between the color of sunset on stone and maybe a bit like fire—in the sun, it reflects a bunch of different red, gold, and orange hues, which adds to that impression. There are shorter bits near the front, some of which are impossible to tuck behind her ears, so she’s kind of stuck with them getting frequently in her face until they grow out a little more.

Her eyes are large and almond-shaped, the color a darkish grey for the most part, comparable to maybe slate or wet granite, perhaps. Nothing to write home about, as far as she’s concerned. Her facial structure generally has a typically-French refinement to it, and she’s striking in her own way, though she doesn’t look like a supermodel—she’s not nearly tall enough, for one. In fact, when it comes right down to it, Anastasia is short. Barely a pair of inches over five feet tall, she’s used to being comically unable to reach things on high shelves, for instance. It’s just an annoying fact of life for her.

Her body shape is something from another era, really. These days, people tend to favor the really thin aesthetic, and that was just never going to happen for her. She was a stick-thin little girl, but when puberty hit, she acquired curves, and they’re not going anywhere. Her shape is an hourglass, certainly, though she is in excellent shape and has a moderate amount of muscle tone and an otherwise trim physique, there’s just no helping the shape of her bustline and hips. She’s not too bothered about how she looks, really—as long as she’s living a healthy lifestyle, she’s fine with whatever. The girl has a smile that can light up a room, and a sort of easy, friendly air about her that is obvious even from a distance. That sense of vibrancy easily makes up for what she lacks in the height department. ]




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I’m good at… normal things, I guess? Well, all right, maybe some of them aren’t that normal, but what can I say?




Potential Interest
None at the current moment: Well, being new to Cross, Anastasia doesn’t really know anybody, which is sort of an obstacle to making friends or having relationships of other sorts. She’s not actively looking for anything like that, but she won’t complain if it does happen. More than anything, though, she just wants to have some friends.

Skills

    Shaolin Kung-Fu || She picked this up from her adopted father, actually, who was really fond of martial arts in general, and quite insistent that his daughter never be completely helpless in any situation. She uses it more to keep herself in shape than to actually fight anything, as she’s not overly fond of the idea of violence.
    Singing and Dancing || Entirely useless as far as she can tell, but nevertheless talents that she has. She lacks formal training for the most part, and is just a very gifted amateur. It’s not something she’d ever do in front of people necessarily, though she will sometimes do either or both by herself if she catches the mood.
    Tech Genius || You’d never guess it just by looking at her or listening to her talk, but Anastasia’s IQ is actually almost 200, and she has a special gift for mechanical devices. She tends to tinker with them in her spare time, and all of her technology is stuff she’s made or modified herself.

Abilities
    Reflexes || Perhaps due to the fact that her brain processes things faster than other peoples’, she has an extraordinary level of reflex for a human being. The thing is, she doesn’t even have to think about things like this—she just does them, and is sometimes genuinely surprised by the result.
    Psychic Amplification || Anastasia is one of those rare humans who has developed a kind of ESP. It’s not exactly the same thing as a vampire’s abilities, but it’s interesting all the same. She has a way of just knowing things that doesn’t seem to derive from observation or logic, and if she concentrates, she can read people’s minds. It’s not something she does often, as it tends to be tiring, and she thinks it’s kind of rude.




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The truth is, I love meeting new people, even the ones that think I’m annoying or a freak. Everyone’s got something interesting to say. Isn’t it wonderful, this world we live in?




Other:
Anastasia has no idea who her birth parents were or where she really comes from. All she knows is that she was adopted by her father from an orphanage when the nuns discovered that she seemed to be reading people’s minds for fun. Her father was something of an expert on paranormal matters, and as a result, he took her in for the sake of training her. She knows of the existence of vampires, but she’s never met one before, which is why she jumped at the opportunity to attend Cross Academy when a letter was sent inviting her to come and offering her a scholarship to pay for it.

Habits

    Smiling || Anastasia’s just a happy person, and tends to smile for no reason at all, or when nervous, excited, happy, and sometimes even when sad. It could be said, perhaps, that she hides behind it, just a little.
    Daydreaming || On a day-to-day basis, she may actually come off as a ditz for her tendency to zone out, sometimes in the middle of doing something else. She can’t really help it—sometimes it’s her abilities acting up, and other times, it’s just that her mind tends to be in a million places at once.
    Gardening || She has a large watering can which she lugs around the grounds to tend to the flower beds further out. She doesn’t do a lot—just waters and weeds and trims occasionally. It makes her feel useful.




Likes
    Sweets || The quickest way to Anastasia’s good graces is through her sweet tooth. Anything will do, really—candy, cookies, cake, brownies, even sweet teas and fruits.
    Company || Some people handle solitude very well. Others even prefer it. Anastasia is not one of those people. She likes to be around others, to the point where she can sometimes forget that others may not want to be around her.
    Sunshine || Who wouldn’t? Well, unless they were allergic to it or something, perhaps. She can often be found laying in the grass on sunny days, because it puts her at ease and reminds her of home.

Dislikes
    Dogs || She had a bad experience as a child. She’ll be okay if one’s around… as long as it doesn’t approach her.
    Protracted Silence || At least of the awkward kind. Silence is totally fine if both parties are so inclined, but those times when a conversation just… stops, for lack of anything else to say? They make her really uncomfortable.
    Melons || They’re such pretty colors—but they hardly taste like anything. She considers it a disappointment.




Strengths
    Resilience || Mental, not physical. Anastasia’s as vulnerable to damage as any other human, but she can take a lot of emotional or psychological pain before she starts to crumble.
    Intelligence || It doesn’t always come across at first, but she’s smart, and far more perceptive than others give her credit for. She has knowledge I a wide array of areas, and generally tends also to instinctively understand what other people need.
    Kindness || Perhaps it’s not conventionally considered a strength, but Anastasia is kindhearted and open—willing to give freely of herself for the sake of other people. While it may hurt her in the short term, she’s sure she’s better off in the long run for it.

Weaknesses
    Bleeding Heart || The easiest way to manipulate her is to play to her sympathies, and she doesn’t always stop to think before throwing in her lot to help people, even people she knows aren’t trustworthy, if she feels they need it. It would have to seem like a good cause, of course, but even so, it could definitely be used against her.
    Only Human || Psychic or no, Anastasia isn’t as tough or quick or strong as a vampire, not even a noble, really. She wouldn’t stand much chance in a fight against one, at least not if it were purely physical.




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I guess maybe I’m a little strange. I’ve always believed in all of these things that nobody else thinks are real, and it’s never bothered me before. Because, if I can’t be me, who would I be?




Personality
Honest | Warm | Head-in-the-Clouds | Gentle

[ It would be hard to pick a person less likely to have enemies than Anastasia. Bright, optimistic, cheerful, and compassionate, she seems at first glance to be the ideal friend and classmate. That said, she’s also a little… odd. Generally speaking, she’s happy enough to engage in conversation with anyone, but she may occasionally lose her place in the flow of it, as though her mind were always half-elsewhere. She also sometimes accidentally answers things that were thought, but not said, because she didn’t realize that she was currently reading the mind in question. She also will quite honestly admit tot believing in things like ghosts, vampires, witches and ESP, which makes most people a little leery of her if they happen to be of a more traditional mindset on such matters.

She seems almost to thrum with some kind of untapped vitality, the potential of a girl as yet undefined. Though she has in her time endured strife enough, she has not allowed it to bring her down in any significant way, and her scars, where they are, are just another part of her skin, integrated seamlessly into her whole and not dwelled upon overmuch. She displays an extraordinary ability to bounce back from traumatic experiences, and a willingness to help others do the same, regardless of what it takes. She’s always ready with a gentle word or a reassurance, and seems to never have an ill word to say about anyone.

She is open rather than reserved, though there is still the sense that what one sees of her is far from all there is. She doesn’t share the thought, and claims that with her, “what you see is what you get.” Anastasia is neither particularly boastful nor self-deprecating, but there is a certain modesty about her all the same—she accepts what compliments she is given with grace, but lingering on the topic of herself is something she prefers not to do. She enjoys learning new things about other people, and will not generally hesitate to ask questions with this end in mind. Sometimes, she’s accidentally rude in this fashion, though never on purpose. It’s just easy to forget that some people have stricter boundaries than she does.

She’s rather innocent of matters of love, at least for herself, though at her previous school, she had something of a reputation as a matchmaker, helped along by her intuitions about who thought what of whom. It’s something that makes her happy, to make others happy too, and she seizes on the opportunities where she can find them. Ana is actually somewhat softspoken, and not at all obnoxious, but her energy is definitely palpable. ]




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Where we come from is important. But… not as important as where we choose to go from there.




History
[ Anastasia’s history isn’t anything terribly tragic, or at least she doesn’t tend to think so. She has no idea who her parents were, biologically, but she does know that she was raised in an orphanage connected with the Catholic Church for the first few years of her life. When it was discovered that she wasn’t exactly the same as other children, she was put into the care of the man she considers her father: a priest named Renault. Father Renault was much unlike many of his contemporaries, in that he knew of the existence of things like vampires and humans with psychic talent, and viewed neither as inherently evil. He was actually an esper in some measure himself, though nothing like Ana.

She lived with him for the majority of his life, tending the small church he ran in southern France, and training her talents while attending school as all children do. It wasn’t until she was seventeen that anything in particular changed for her—for it was then that she received the invitation to attend Cross Academy. Father Renault looked upon it as an excellent opportunity for her to get to know more about the world outside her home country, and more about vampires and suchlike as well. Given his opinion on the matter, she could also only agree that it would be a good thing to do.

Though the school had been once destroyed, and danger seems to lurk in its shadows, Anastasia is optimistic about what she might find there, and the people she might meet. And so it is that she arrives for her first day of attendance… ]




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Sometimes in life, we all fall down. The places we fall to are often dark, and seem inescapable. But as long as we stand up again, there’s hope. If you can’t stand up anymore, take my hand and lean on me. I won’t let you fall.



So begins...

Anastasia Guillory's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sora Tsukino Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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#, as written by Ion


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“Death can come at any time, to anybody. We live on a razor’s edge by our very natures. None are free from that.”



Haruka’s death had shaken the campus to a certain extent. The demise of a classmate was usually an unexpected thing, and this one was no exception. Still, even with a year and a half separating then from now, nobody had forgotten the explosions back then, nor the lives that had been lost. It was, in a sense, taken much more quietly than it would have been, before. Some of the students in the Day Class put together a memorial service three days after the fact, and though he had not openly attended, Sora had been there, and watched from the boughs of a tree.

Kaede had openly wept. The girl was accustomed to death—too accustomed for a child of her age, but all the same, she had not lost her sensitivity to it. The friendship that had been blossoming there was still tentative, but it had bee blossoming all the same. The young human had thought that it was a shame that Miss Haruka should die without ever learning how to live—those had been her words, and her eyes had borne right into him when she said it, as though she saw straight through every doubt that Sora had ever had about himself, about what he did with his life. It was uncanny, what that girl knew.

Sachiko had gone as well, and watched the proceedings with sad eyes and a heavy heart, but unlike the rest of them, she had always known this was a possibility. She’d also known that Haruka would die, though not when or how, only that it would be before her human lifetime was naturally due to expire. In the moments before her death, she’d had a new barrage of visions, new faces appearing alongside those she’d already seen, as though the stilling of one human heart was in fact altering the very fabric of fate; especially the fates of those she held dear. Destiny moved in a new direction now, but she was as yet uncertain what to make of it.

Sora had made a point of being there for Asuka, though he wasn’t honestly sure if his presence made any difference or not. He liked to think it might—whatever they were to each other, they were not insignificant in one another’s lives, and was it not best to keep close the ones you cared about in such times? He could tell that she was mourning, and he did his best to provide comfort where he might, but he was not accustomed to playing such a role in anyone’s life. He could seek revenge and he could perpetuate death. Neither of these things lent itself to dealing with what happened in the wake of it. All of this was too much like the moments after the explosions, when he’d just kept digging, even after he’d recovered everyone that could have possibly survived. Only Fujiwara’s strange behavior had dragged him out of that stupor, but this was not nearly so… urgent as that. She was simply gone.

Now, a week in total after the girl’s demise, he found himself on morning rounds, making sure that all the Day Class students were going where they belonged, and that the Night Class made it inside before the sun rose and the others suddenly had cause to wonder why the whole lot of them were allergic to the sun. The week since had been largely uneventful, actually, which was perhaps something of a relief—he would not have wanted her to have to deal with more worries atop the grief she endured now. She’d lost so much… and too many of his thoughts seemed always to revolve around her. It was in one sense annoying, but he didn't exactly mind it even so. He’d always preferred having other people to think about. It had taken him a long time to realize it, yet it was just as true for all that.




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“I never imagined I’d find myself in a place like this…”



The car, hired especially to bring her to the campus, pulled up to the front gate, and the driver opened the door, allowing the newest transfer student to the Academy to step out onto the pavement. Pushing an errant strand of fire-touched hair out of her face, she tucked it back behind her ear and faced the campus. Verdant, by the looks of it, as the height of summer approached. She’d probably only be able to take a few weeks of class before the vacation, but she’d been assured that it was fine. If it was unusual for so many accommodations to be made, nobody had indicated such to her, so she was left to surmise that it must not be terribly inconvenient.

Her things had arrived ahead of her and been moved into one of the rooms in the Sun Dormitory, apparently, which wasn’t too far away according to the campus map she held loosely in one hand. She supposed, however, that if she was here, she had perhaps best attend class. The details of what was expected of her once she arrived were rather vague, but she did have a schedule, so that should help. Either way, Anastasia was used to figuring things out on her own and making the best of it, and there was no reason to fret if that was what she was to do here.

Her lips tilted faintly upwards, and she tanked the hired driver before heading toward the gate, school bag in one hand and map in the other. It was another adventure, to her, and perhaps the most interesting one she’d yet been able to undertake. She wondered what Father would say, if he could see her now. “Hurry up, Ana, you silly girl, or you’ll be late,” she said gruffly, imitating his gravelly tones a little and chuckling to herself. That was exactly what he’d say, and as always, it was good advice. Taking a deep breath, Anastasia squared her shoulders and headed in through the gate.

It was time to see what Cross Academy had in store for her.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Asuka Fujiwara Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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#, as written by Azazel



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"It never gets easier."




She was gone.

That was the only thing that registered in Asuka's mind for the last few days. She was gone, and she wasn't going to come back. After what she had been through, after what she had witnessed, Haruka was gone. It seemed that the poison laced within those daggers wasn't ordinary, otherwise Haruka would have recovered. She would have been fine. She would have still been alive and stalking the halls alongside Asuka. And that thought alone brought unyielding tears to the Dhampir's eyes. She had mourned Haruka's death the entire week, keeping herself locked in her room, away from the others. Sora would occasionally be there, offering, in his own way, her support. The only time Asuka had left her room was during the ceremony they held for Haruka.

She had left the confines of her room to show her respects to her friend. She had attended with Kaede, the young human girl that Sora protected, and only caused the ache in her heart to deepen when the girl openly wept. Asuka had tried to remain strong, however; it was hard to do. Though the school acknowledged that one of its students no longer lived, a majority of the students either did not care, or they simply didn't know Haruka well enough to care. Asuka had survived the beginning of the school's trials with Haruka, she had been there when the human girl discovered the fried corpses in her childhood home, and she was there when Asuka attacked her.

Her tears had all but dried by the fourth day of Haruka's passing, and she soon found herself once again patrolling. Though Sora took care of most of it, Asuka had tried to get back into the motion of things. She tried to act as if everything were okay, however; she knew that it wasn't. She had lost not only her family, but her friend. She was growing so weary of losing her precious people, that she had distanced herself a bit from Sora and the others. She, somehow, felt responsible for the death of Haruka, her cousin, and her uncle. Though she wasn't, there was still a small voice in the back of her head that said it was. She had tried to drown it out, even Snow did his best to keep her thoughts on other things. He only succeeded partially before her mind kept going back to Haruka.

Without much notice, a week had passed and Asuka stood by the door to her dorm room, leading out to the school. She took a deep breath, skin a bit paler than usual from the lack of sun, and ran her hand through her flaky hair. She had neglected a majority of her daily routines, which included brushing her hair, and she neglected to take her blood pills (which were being consumed more frequently now, strangely) when she felt the thirst rising. Gathering herself, she forced the door open and took a hesitant step out. Today, she would put on a smile and move on. Haruka had been a dear friend, but she knew her friend wouldn't want her to keep sulking. She knew her uncle and cousin would have wanted the same thing. With that in mind, Asuka left to do her morning patrols.

Snow had pointed out to her that Sora had already begun most of the work, and had already taken care of the transition of the Day class with the Night Class. She smiled at Snow, hooking a finger over his head as he just stared at her. She shook her head at him as she released him through a window, watching as he began circling the Academy. She made her way towards the front of the Academy, stopping to stare at the front gates when something caught her attention. There was someone walking up to the Academy, a young girl it seemed, probably no older than Asuka herself. Or perhaps a bit younger. Asuka, after all, was technically nineteen now, though she still retained her teenage appearance. She could pass as someone still passing seventeen years old, which wasn't much to say the least.

"Can I help you?" Asuka stated, putting on a smile in the process as she approached the girl. It was then she finally took notice of the girl's uniform. She was a student here. Asuka furrowed her brows in confusion a bit before something clicked. The Headmaster had mentioned that there was a new student transferring, but Asuka wasn't aware that it'd be this quick. Honestly, the news fluttered through one ear and out the other. She was too consumed with Haruka's death that she barely paid attention to anything anyone said. The only voice she had listened to, besides Snow, was Sora's. He had been the one to keep her from further falling, and part of her would always be grateful to her friend for that.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asuka Fujiwara Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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#, as written by Ion


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“Such pain… perhaps things are not as I had thought to find them…”



Anastasia spent a few minutes walking sedately to the main school building, unable to hurry despite herself. It was just so beautiful here. She’d been afraid that in leaving the church grounds where she’d been raised, she’d be forever resigning herself to harsh, loud urban environments, and too many people’s thoughts to feel comfortable hearing all at once. But this campus was nothing like that—the plants were healthy and vibrant, and the breeze played gently with the strands of grass like a cat with thousands of little bits of string. The image brought a smile to her face, and she tipped her head back a bit to look at the sky above. The few clouds in the area were soft and fluffy, a little like rabbits or balls of cotton or something. It brought her a rare sense of serenity, actually, a faint hint of something calming.

But she was not oblivious to the darker things underlying the aura of the area. Indeed, she immediately picked up on them. There were strains of sorrow woven into the very fabric of existence here, as though everyone within were just below a net of melancholy that threatened to ensnare them at any moment, looming like a dark harbinger of things to come.

My, my… when did I get so dramatic? It must be the atmosphere… Yes, she could feel it, and keenly, but she chose not to let it bother her. The thing about the world and everyone in it was that nothing was perfect. Some people saw tragedy in this; Anastasia saw opportunity. Broken things could be mended, dark things given light, imperfect things were the only ones that could be improved. What was perfect had only two choices: to remain ever the same or else grow worse. Neither seemed to contain much joy, and joy was something definitely worth seeking.

A voice brought her from her reverie, and she glanced back down to see a girl in mourning. Well, she didn’t exactly look like it: she was smiling, but Ana knew just by looking at her that she was not happy at all. She just… knew things like that, most of the time. Still, she suppressed the flash of sadness in her eyes and returned the smile instead, watching with some interest as a small black cat leaped atop the girl’s shoulder. She was quite pretty, Ana thought, though not in the kind of way that suggested she was aware of it. She didn’t look to be in the best condition though; perhaps whatever was making her sad was causing her to lose sleep.

“Oh, you don’t have to do that,” she said graciously, waving a hand in front of her in a careless motion. “I probably look lost, but I’m just dawdling, you see. I really should be going to class, maybe. Unless… is there someone I should see about this first?” She held up her folder, which contained her class schedule as well as several materials regarding her transfer. She still had some last few pieces of paperwork to hand over, but she thought she’d just give those to an assistant or something. This girl was evidently a student, given that they were wearing the same uniform. Shrugging, she placed the folder under her arm and held out her free hand.

“It’s nice to meet you. My name’s Anastasia Guillory, but Ana or Gilly is fine if you want.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asuka Fujiwara Character Portrait: Sora Tsukino Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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#, as written by Azazel



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"Something, I cannot explain, is taking hold of me. I want to understand it, but I can't."




Asuka blinked a bit, her expression going from one of confusion to one of realization. The girl, Anastasia as she introduced herself as, held up a folder as she spoke. Asuka let out a mixture of a sigh and a light laugh as the girl held out her hand afterwards. Asuka contemplated for a second, wondering if she should take the girl's hand before making a decision. It was just an introduction, nothing extreme, so she should return the gesture. Asuka reached out her own hand, grabbing Anastasia's in a friendly response and shook her hand. She allowed her hand to fall to her side as she answered Anastasia's question.

"I am Asuka Fujiwara, but you can just call me Asuka. I am one of the school's prefects, along with Sora Tsukino, whom I am sure you will meet eventually. Speaking of which," she stated, pausing as she reached inside of her uniform and pulled a piece of paper out. She quickly wrote something on it, signing her name in the process before handing it to Anastasia. "He might not know you are a new student, but then again he might. Either way, if you run into him, just show him that paper. It's an unofficial hall pass, but it'll keep you from getting into trouble," she explained about the sloppy writing.

"I won't keep you from your classes, but if you need anything," she stated, hooking a finger over Midori's ear (whom she just noticed), pausing only momentarily to offer the girl a brighter smile "I am here to help," she concluded, waving the girl goodbye to continue on her rounds. She sighed as she once again began walking around the Academy, searching for stray students in the process. There were hardly any out today, something she was grateful for. Though it proved to be a rather calm week, or so Snow had stated, it wouldn't always be that way. Something was bound to happen again, but Asuka wasn't sure if she could take it.

She snorted at that thought. Of course she could take it. She had no other choice. If anything, she would only train to become stronger so that she could protect those she loved. Perhaps she should ask Sora for a few sparring sessions? She cracked a small smile at that thought. Sora, giving her sparring lessons, was undoubtedly a comical sight. If anything, they'd probably argue more-so than getting any real training done. Though, as of late, even before Haruka's death, they had argued considerably less. She couldn't understand it, but she didn't miss those arguments, not once. Though a part of her still felt compelled to do so when he was around.

It was as if all of these walls would just pop up out of nowhere, and as the two would so often argue, she could feel them fall. Not that it wasn't a pleasant feeling, but she missed it slightly. "I think I am going insane, Midori," she stated, sighing in the process before smiling. She took a deep breath before releasing it slowly. She at least felt like she was losing her mind. Perhaps it was because of the neglect of her body that made her feel that way. After all, she went the entire week without her blood pills, without eating properly, without completing most of her morning rituals, and just plain ignored her well-being.

She found herself on the other side of the building, blinking softly as she spotted a familiar person. She scoffed to herself as she turned to Midori. She said nothing as she approached Sora, smiling at him in the process. He had seen a part of her that she did not want anyone to ever see. It was a moment of weakness, or perhaps it was something more than that. She shook the thoughts from her head as she placed her hands behind her back and stared at him. "Thanks, Sora. I know I didn't get to say it at all, but," she paused, glancing off to the side. "If you were not there, I am afraid of what might have become of me."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Zenith Rosenkreuz Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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|"As the dreams burn, there is only one thing that mattered. The lone promise within the flaming passion of broken desires which I will keep."|




Time, it was never a factor for a certain white-haired pureblood. As such, it resulted to Zenith showcasing one of his known habits. He was asleep while leaning on a nearby wall. His eyes were closed so gently while his silver white hair was played by the soft breeze entering from an opened window. He seemed so peaceful as he stood there quietly. His breathing was even without a hint of disturbance. However internally, he was not at peace at all. He was in the midst of a dream, a memory of the past. The one thing he held with great importance more than anything else in the present time. Yet, this vision was not of a beautiful recollection. One could describe it as the main reason of his very existence as of now, the beginning of everything for him.

All around, there was nothing but a blazing fire which engulfed the entire scenery. Nothing was spared. The heat, the chaos, the screams, they were all ignored by the Rosenkreuz pureblood who stood at the center of it. This was because his sole attention was taken by a certain individual, a woman who would never be forgotten nor be lessened as someone inconsequential to Zenith. This woman was everything to him and even more than reason itself. The long white hair being swayed by the rough winds. Eyes of gold which was like his held such an intense strength which will not yield. He cannot help but be captivated by that radiance, that fire which was Amalthea.

"What are you dreaming about?"

Those words worked like a beacon for him to return to reality. Just like that, the past had ceased within his mind for now. As he opened his eyes, he was welcomed with the scenery of green. There was no doubt on his mind that these eyes belonged to Luke. He straightened himself and looked to his side where a window could be seen. The question which hanged in the air was left unanswered. He was more interested with how much time had passed. It would seem that lunch was about to begin. As if to prove his conclusion, the bell echoed within the grounds. This would be a first. The first time, he had not attended classes. Somehow, he felt a bit jilted. But of course, this was not shown by him on the outside. He would have to accept any punishment by his teachers. Although, that would be a bit impossible due to his position.

In any case, Luke noticed Zenith's concern about time and released a sigh. The kid could appear more welcoming in his presence really. But, he could not expect that much. "Don't worry. You didn't miss that much" Zenith turned to look at his entitled bodyguard who rather had a carefree expression. He would never understand how Luke could be so when, the said pureblood had experienced more terrible things than him. "Sorry about disturbing your beauty sleep, but..." Luke paused for a moment and then looked towards the doors of the library. There were already an influx of students who had no interest in reading books. Instead, they were there to get the chance to see the two most sought out bachelors, so to speak. "We need to go before we cause a commotion."

Zenith understood that without being reminded. As such, he nodded in agreement and then made his way to the exit in which Luke followed suit. Soon enough, the two of them managed to finally avoid the crowd of clamoring fans or whatever they would like to call themselves. "So... where do you want to go? Cafeteria?" Luke queried his charge who continued to look as if not perturbed by anything. Of course, this was not a fact. For in every moment, Zenith cannot help but be concerned about everything even in matter which should have been classified as inconsequential to him. In an effort for an answer, the white-haired pureblood shook his head. He did not desire to go to the cafeteria. Well, he was not also hungry for human food. In which the thought brought a different meaning of hunger for him, his throat suddenly felt very dry.

"You should drink." Luke stated without much hesitation. Zenith stopped in his tracks. "I am fine." This was the rather short and crisp answer of the Pure-blood king. In the view of others, he was perfectly in control. However, it was only possible due to the strict hiding of his inner turmoils and feelings. As if, he believes that he was truly a being incapable of emotions. No, he is one. Luke released a sigh at this and shook his head to the sides. This kid truly is a stubborn individual which reminded him, what would his charge do. This Academy without a doubt will be encased in another shadow if his talk with the Headmaster was not indicative enough. However before he could comment about that, his nose caught a certain new scent. Ah yes... the new student...

"Look what we have here." Luke stated with a smile on his face. As for Zenith, it was only then he had finally looked in front of him fully. There it was the faint scent of something foreign. His eyes of gold looked at the figure before him. It was a woman without doubt. Her hair of orange red reminded him of that dream he had earlier. The burning fires which served as his baptism to this harsh and cruel world. The fires much like in the eyes of his sister. Just like that, the Rosenkreuz pure-blood simply remained in his position while other students began to gather. After all, it was always a pleasant thing to see the White Prince and the Jovial Prince together under the sun.



Hughes had a faint smile on his lips as he looked down below his window which oversees the main entrance to the building. He took out a phone from his pocket and dialed a number. "It's time. Make sure all preparations are complete." There was an answer and he kept his phone once more. It was truly bad about the end result with Yamazaki. The human girl could have been perfect, but the concoction he had created to ensure a smooth transition detected an anomaly within her. Thus, it resulted to her death. Oh well... He would have to find a new one. Perhaps, it would not need to take long at all.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asuka Fujiwara Character Portrait: Zenith Rosenkreuz Character Portrait: Sora Tsukino Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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“Seeing you like that… it shouldn’t have harmed me, but it did.”



He could smell how weak she was even before he could see it. He’d left her mostly to herself for the last couple of days, once it seemed that she was doing well enough to be on her own for a while. Nobody wanted to spend so long in his company, after all, and he wouldn’t force his presence on someone who didn't need it. But now he could tell that this had been a mistake. He turned to regard her flatly for a moment, and as usual, his thoughts passed through absolutely no filter before they reached his mouth. It was a small wonder someone hadn’t killed him for his impudence yet. Not that nobody had tried. “You look like shit, Fujiwara.”

It took him a second for that one to catch up with him, and then he realized that, whether or not it was true, he perhaps should not have said it that way. He didn’t usually care for tact or how his words were interpreted, but for some reason, he didn’t want… he didn’t want her to do what almost everyone else did and just think the worst of him. It also… wasn’t entirely true. Of course, he’d meant that she didn't look well, which was obviously the case, judging from the circles under her eyes and the state of her hair, but she was still…

The thought was dangerous at best, and he shoved it to the side before he could complete it. “Sorry,” he amended. “You just… you seem tired. And thirsty.” His mouth compressed into a thinner line, and before he really thought out what he was doing, he reached up to fix her hair a bit, combing his fingers through it and forcing it to lay more neatly on her head. It was lank, missing the healthy sheen it usually had. He swallowed thickly—it made him uncomfortable, disquiet, to see her in such a state. He wanted to fix it, or help her fix it, but he wasn’t sure he knew how. “Do you need…? I mean, you could if you wanted to. I don't mind.” Was it supposed to be this strange? Were other people more cavalier about offering their blood to others? It felt like such an intimate offer to him, even though he’d been raised not to care about it. Maybe that was why—he’d been forbidden in his youth from either asking or offering, to say nothing of taking.

But… this was a way he could help her, and he cared about that more than about any of the other stupid things he’d been considering just now. Who cared if it was appropriate? He’d never let that kind of thing stop him from saying or doing as he pleased before, and he didn’t plan on that changing now. So maybe it wouldn’t hurt to be a little more honest, say one more thing he probably shouldn’t.

“I was worried about you,” he said quietly, almost as if he were ashamed to admit it. “For a while there, I didn’t know if I’d get you back from that and I…” he shook his head, belatedly realizing that he was still toying with her hair and dropping his hands to his sides. Sora swallowed past a sudden lump in his throat. “I was afraid. I don’t know what would happen if I… lost you.” There. He said it. It felt a bit like blasphemy, to admit that he was afraid of anything at all. He never had been before. He knew that this, like the hate he’d striven to avoid, was a weakness. But it was not hate he felt for her, not at all. Some part of him knew what it had to be, then, but he couldn’t make himself say it. Not yet.




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“So much pain… it’s a wonder you can’t tell just by looking.”



After thanking the friendly prefect and continuing on her way, Anastasia managed to get herself turned around somewhat in the building itself. Despite her extraordinary spatial reasoning skills, she was a fairly hopeless navigator, which tended to get her lost even in familiar places if she was without an escort of some kind. Of course, it helped that she liked being lost, because the best of adventures were usually found that way. Of course, transferring to a new school was probably enough adventure for today, and so instead of just wandering, she actually tried to get herself back on track, and peered down at the map of the grounds, trying to make sense of it.

A bell sounded, and she rounded a corner, still looking down at the paper in her hands, at least until she heard a voice. She wasn’t usually the sort of person to assume she was being referred to, but she knew that she was in the same way that she knew a lot of things that most people were not supposed to. As it would be rude to do otherwise, she looked up, at first into the greenest eyes she’d ever seen. That one had been the speaker, she could tell. There was a smile playing about his face, but she didn’t take it for genuine. Well, it wasn’t malicious or anything like that, but he used it like she used hers sometimes—to hide things. She flicked her eyes to the side quickly, then stopped for a moment, eyes a bit wide.

She was looking at what were easily the two most beautiful people she’d ever seen. It was what she expected it must be like to look at a couple of angels, if indeed such mundane words as beautiful could even be considered to apply to such people. But this was not what had frozen her in her tracks. Beauty was all well and good, and she appreciated it as much as the next person. They reminded her of works of art. Untouchable in that sense. But beyond that, all resemblance to the way she imagined angels was gone. The one with the green eyes was complicated—he felt to her sixth sense like an intricate, grand construction of clockwork and gears, with moving parts and secret mechanisms, all covered over with fascinating scrollwork and gems, as though to distract from what lay beneath it. Father Renault had told her that creatures which lived as long as vampires did were more complex than humans because of this, but she hadn’t understood how that could be until this very moment.

The silent one who stood beside him was even handsomer, if that was possible. But what struck her about him was the sadness: so deep and powerful that it was like being dragged into the ocean by the undertow, and for a moment, she was paralyzed by it, her breathing shortened as she tried to make sense of what she was feeling from him. Unbidden, her mind brushed his, just lightly, and she came away with images of fire and a woman with eyes the same color as his, and that roiling, sea-deep grief. It couldn’t have been more than five seconds that she stood there, but it was long enough to feel as though she’d drowned and died twice as many times. Shaking her head slightly, she blinked the thoughts away as best she could and smiled back. A greeting deserved another, and normal people would not have experienced what she just had. Probably best not to let on what she’d seen—she didn’t imagine it would go over well, however accidental it was, and true it would have been.

“Good afternoon,” she said pleasantly, inclining her head a little. Of course it was to be expected that she had no idea who these men were, nor of their status at the school, but somehow it didn’t surprise her when a crowd formed very quickly, though she was a bit unprepared for it, and short as she was, found herself swallowed by it quite quickly. Ah. Well then. Perhaps an actual conversation was not in the cards. It might have been nice—she suspected that the two were vampires; purebloods, if they were walking in the sunlight. She was curious if what she’d learned about them from Father Renault was true. Then again… it might have been rude to ask anyway. Probably best not to embarrass herself on her first day here by offending someone. That would just be unkind of her.

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Zenith Rosenkreuz Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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|“There are times, I think that some strong force wants to see me break. However, I am already broken."|




The greeting which chimed with the passing breeze did little to earn any sort of reaction from the illustrious leader of vampires. However, this could not be the same for the eccentric caretaker, so to speak. "Good afternoon, to you too, Miss!" The ever cheerful greeting from Luke which earned some blushes from the female students who were present. Somehow, the day was brightened even more. "You must be the new student, I've heard about." It did not take long for Luke to close the distance between him and the human female with such cinnabar-colored hair. Her hair actually reminds him of a beautiful sunset. "The name is Luke." He initiated but much like that of an aristocrat of olden times. The vibrant pure-blood swiftly but gently took her hand and placed a chaste kiss at the back of her hand.

This gesture of his unwittingly earned a lot of jealous and envious thoughts and looks from the students witnessing the scene. It is a fact that Luke was rather approachable and friendly in every way that the White King was not. In this aspect, he became quite popular even more so when he could be the one seen able to communicate properly with the evanescent Ice Prince. Releasing her hand, he smiled brightly and then directed his eyes to his ward. "That sullen guy over there is Zenith." Of course, those words meant little to the Rosenkreuz pure-blood. As a matter of fact, there were no reactions of any sort. One would wonder, if he was a living entity or a life-like statue. "If you have questions don't hesitate to ask us. Speaking of which, I wonder where the prefects are... Hmmm..." This was followed by Luke's green eyes scanning through the crowd.

As for Zenith, there was a fleeting glint in those golden eyes of his. It was so brief and light that no one could have noticed it. He had taken a certain whiff. It was the mingled scent of blood and that of a prefect. He should be concerned but, the amount of blood in the air was not fatal. Rather, he already knew what was happening which further made his throat parched. Perhaps, he should take some blood pills for good measures. "My, it's good to see such courtesy." All eyes were now on the person who spoke. The students immediately greeted this person, with all of their words ending with Headmaster. Hughes smiled kindly at this and directed his attention to three people. "Good afternoon, Ms. Guillory. I hope your trip had been pleasant."

Hughes did not waste time to introduce himself and welcome the new student of the Academy. "Welcome to Cross Academy, I am the Headmaster, Hughes Jackson. I do hope you would have a wonderful time here." His eyes of onyx then glanced towards the two prominent pure-bloods of the school. Zenith did not fail not to appear completely detached while Luke remained ever so carefree in his demeanor. "Speaking of which, why not take time to learn the grounds more. There is no need to rush for classes." He noted with his ever polite and warm demeanor. Then, those eyes suddenly had a glint about an interesting thing. "Now, I think about it. Zenith can show you around the grounds."

This statement finally elicited a certain reaction from the Pure-blood king. Zenith looked at the Headmaster with his ever usual blank expression. Luke whistled at this turn of events while the students began murmuring around. It was truly enviable for the new student to be escorted by the most desired male of the Academy. "That is a good thing! Zenith here will be the best tour guide." Zenith now directed his attention to Luke who simply smiled brightly at him. At this moment, he was not certain what he was feeling. It seemed that the Headmaster and his bodyguard conspiring for what purpose, he has no idea. "No need to worry, you two will be excused for the day. Show her a good time, Zenith." Hughes stated with his professional smile and then looked at Luke. "I would need to speak with you Luke for a moment."

Luke looked at Hughes and then smiled cheerfully. "Sure, you're the boss." He then looked at Zenith and patted the pure-blood's shoulder. "Do your best, kiddo." Zenith was starting to believe it would have been better to have not asked this man's help. However, he did have no choice on the matter. It was a far better option than allowing those people near him again. He could not have that ever again. He was darkness and the light should stay away from him. It was also the same with this girl, they had forced into his hand. “I understand." It was his brief answer as he walked towards the one now known to him as Ms. Guillory.

“I am Zenith Kline Rosenkreuz. It is a pleasure meeting you, Ms. Guillory." The words rolled out his lips with that beautiful baritone voice of his. It was smooth and tangible like velvet silk. His eyes of gold only focused on her and nothing else mattered. Somehow, this kind of encounter reminded him of the same moment with Yamazaki. There was a wave of sadness which entered him, yet it was not seen anything on the outside. He remained stoic and politely indifferent. After introductions, he walked ahead of the girl but not before looking over to her. “Let us begin." He stated in that cool and collected tone of his in which the students around them were swooning. It was very rare to hear Zenith speak which makes his voice itself dreamy. Although for the pure-blood, he could not see anything special about it.

As for the two who had set-up such an event, Hughes was already leading the way back to his office with Luke trailing behind. He was not sure it was the best idea to have Zenith in such a situation with the new student. However, it would be good for him for a change in scenery. Furthermore, it would be good to have something to distract the kid, especially with that faint scent drifting in the wind. Really, high school was truly a complicated place especially in the hands of a certain Headmaster. "So, what do you want to talk about." Hughes shrugged his shoulders and then opened the doors to his office. "The Queen."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Asuka Fujiwara Character Portrait: Zenith Rosenkreuz Character Portrait: Sora Tsukino Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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“I have this feeling that you haven’t looked at the world and seen anything beautiful in a very long time. Such a crime it would be, if the ugly world lost you.”



He frowned slightly when it sounded like she was going to refuse. Why couldn’t he keep offering? He wanted to, and it was clear she needed something—whether she was making the attempt or not, the pills didn’t seem to be doing anything for her anymore. He had no idea why, but the important part was that he could help, and she didn’t seem to understand that nothing was going to stop him from doing that. He’d never been like that, really, or at least it was a side of himself that he’d shown to precious few people. Precious. That was part of it—she was, somehow, precious to him. It was not exactly a new thought; he’d had it before, but this time it carried the flavor of a revelation, as though he hadn’t fully understood it before. Sachiko and Kaede mattered to him, they were important in his life, but they were not like Asuka. This was something else.

The sound of his own name, softly spoke him, brought him back to the present, and her words warmed him somehow, spreading from some point in his chest through his limbs, and this, too was hers. Something only she did or could do. He only stiffened for the barest moment when she put her arms around him—instinct was hard to kill, and he still did not like the feeling of being trapped, but it took him only a moment to relax. He wasn’t trapped, after all—or if he was, the snare was of his own making as well as hers. He shouldn’t allow this. Everything in his training warned against allowing anyone this close, because anyone at any time could be an enemy.

But not her.

He didn’t know how he knew that, but he did. And he couldn't bring himself to doubt it, doubt her, the consequences be damned. The sharp pricking of her teeth on his neck came and went, and he shifted slightly, wrapping one arm around her waist and using the other to clasp one of her hands, moving it around so that her palm was splayed over the center of his chest, where his heart was beating much more quickly than it should be. He wanted her to know that, for some reason, that she could do that to him.

His wound closed when she was done, smoothing out as though it had never been there at all, and he had the absurd thought that he wished it would leave a mark that would last a little longer. He didn’t loosen his grip, though, and buried his nose in the place where her neck met her shoulder. Sora wasn’t really sure what possessed him to do it, nor what possessed him to shift so that his mouth was there instead, right over the same artery she’d just punctured on him. He could hear it, the way her blood rushed through that vein there. He could feel it. “Promise me,” he said, and his tone was roughened with some emotion he could not place, but the word was murmured tenderly into her skin. “Promise me you won't leave me.”

He couldn’t help but need the confirmation. Everything in his life that he ever loved left him, usually in death. It drove him in conflicting directions. One part of him wanted to hold on to what he had so tightly that he crushed it, so that it couldn’t leave, not ever. The other wished for no holds at all, no bonds, no attachments, no weaknesses. Neither would do here—it was too late not to get attached, if the way he shook, just a little, as he held her was any indication. And he would not crush her. He would not be the reason she suffered. They had both suffered enough for a lifetime, for an eternity. He would not add to her suffering. He would only ever allow himself to take it away. But he couldn’t maintain an attachment that had nothing of substance to it. He just wasn’t that kind of person, and right now, he needed the confirmation that he was making the right decision here.

Because if he wasn’t—if he allowed himself to admit to what feeling bloomed inside his chest and then she left or was taken away—it would kill him.




She was rather surprised that anyone had heard about her at all. Were transfer students to this place really so rare? It seemed a very strange thing, for someone who was obviously so well-liked to keep track of such small happenings. Then again… maybe it was meticulous attention to detail that made him so well-liked. She doubted someone like him ever forgot a name or a face, and sometimes, the easiest way to make someone feel special was to remember a tidbit or a detail that they didn’t even remember giving away. The rather antiquated form of greeting made her smile, something almost a laugh escaping her, but not a mocking one. It was a small sound caught between delight and amusement, more like. She shook her head just faintly, and because she knew how, dropped into a polite curtsey by way of return.

Luke. And Zenith. What an interesting study in contrast they were. Ana picked up on the obvious jealousy she was the target of and almost sighed through her nose. She didn’t take it as hostile, really; she would just be another student tomorrow. It was only a sign of how beloved these two were, something which she wondered about a little but chose not to dwell upon. Presumably, nobody else saw what she did when she looked at them, else they might have been more confused than anything, as she was. She was about to speak and properly introduce herself in return when a new voice spoke out, and she glanced up to meet glittering black eyes. This man conducted himself with both dignity and pleasantness, but there was something… else. There were too many other people around for her to get a clear read on what, but she knew he was the Headmaster before he said he was. There was just something about him that was very… suited to it.

She lost her second opportunity to properly give her name when the headmaster suggested that she take the day to explore the grounds. She personally thought this was a wonderful idea—she was interested in seeing if there were any gardens about that she might tend in her free time, or plant if there were no existing such places, but she wasn’t so sure that Zenith wanted to be responsible for ushering the new student around everywhere. She imagined it would probably be tedious. Trying to spare him the labor she held up a hand. “Surely, that’s really unnecessary,” she started, but Luke was apparently in favor of the idea, though she had to admit she questioned his motives there. She wouldn’t put it past him to want to make his incredibly-stoic-looking friend uncomfortable or inconvenienced in some way.

But apparently, the silent man himself decided that he’d do it, because he spoke to her himself thereafter, and she was helpless to refuse now. It would just be rude, and she was many things, but never rude. At least not on purpose. Glancing around at some of the other students and observing their rather hopelessly lovestruck behavior, she raised an eyebrow, but then smiled up at him kindly. It faltered slightly when she was hit with another wave of sadness, this one less… overwhelming than the last, and different in character, but still enough to produce a sympathetic ache in her heart. “Après toi, le deluge,” she whispered in her native tongue, almost without being quite aware that she’d done it. In one way, it was the perfect description of the impressions she was getting. Just how much had he suffered, to wear a face like that all the time? How many people looked at it and were convinced? Was he convinced? She recovered, though, and nodded simply. “All right. Thank you.”

She fell into step half a pace behind him and to the side, her fingers idly pressing at her sternum, as though the heartache could be removed just by trying to soothe it that way. It wasn’t even her heartache. At least, not entirely. She would admit that other people’s sadness tended to make her sad as well, but the impressions she received from people were usually not so strong, not unless she was trying to see more of them. With those two, and him especially, she had no choice in the matter. “You don't have to stay long, if you have other things to do,” she said, when they were out of earshot of everyone else. “I think I know enough to recognize someone being pressured into a situation when I see it. He’s very subtle, your friend Luke.”

It struck her again as they walked, how beautiful the grounds were. Most of them were simply green grassy fields, but there were also an abundance of trees, largely flowering fruit trees, their arbors spread to catch the incoming light of the sun. They came in confluences of jade and emerald and every shade of green in between, yellowed faintly by the light. A breeze stirred the grass like a great, rippling ocean of it, sending little white motes of pollen up and away into the sky. She chanced a glance at Zenith, but he seemed unmoved. She couldn’t help but think that such a thing was a tragedy on its own. When the simplest, most innocently-beautiful things in life could no longer move you, how much were you still alive at all? Maybe it was different for… should she ask?

Maybe it was rude, but she would try not to be. “Don’t answer if it’s an offensive question or something,” she prefaced carefully, still looking around at the scenery, “but… you’re a vampire, aren’t you?” She paused, spotting a flower that was nearly entirely uprooted from the grass beneath it. A little lily, from the looks of it. It wouldn't live another few days, cut off from the soil like it was. She frowned slightly, then plucked it from the ground with care, rolling the slightly-wilted stem between her fingers. Poor thing. “My father would have used the old word ‘daywalker,’ I think, but here it’s… pureblood?”

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Character Portrait: Zenith Rosenkreuz Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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|“Loneliness will sit over our roofs with brooding wings."|




The words which left her lips. It was of a different dialect, he had heard of it before. This girl seemed perceptive about something or even someone. If that was so, it would be good for her to steer away from the dangers enclosed in this Academy. However for now, he knew that no harm will come to her. It is something he would ensure while in his company and him serving as a reluctant tour guide. “Vous mieux être préparé." He softly answered that whimsical reaction of hers. There is truth in that statement of his. As of now, everything was still clouded in the haze of terrifying smoke. She may be an innocent, yet there are still chances, she might get involved in matters she does not understand. Turning his back towards her, he lead the way. He had no idea where to go exactly, but the gardens would be a good place.

Consideration. Zenith now was certain this girl can see things in a different way. Pressured... He will not use the word to describe what happened earlier. Yet, it did perfectly fit his current situation. However, it was not because of it being tedious or him about to do other things. The fact, he did not want anyone to perceive that there is a connection to be sought after when there is none to begin with. He truly do not want to drag anyone else into the abyss with him. As such, he was very hesitant in accompanying her, this Ms. Guillory. Judging by her demeanor, she was someone not meant for the darkness. Frankly, he wanted to keep it that way. Then again, he could not simply reject it. In the end... “I always do what I want." He started without glancing to his companion. There were also no indication of any emotions upon his face. He was as stoic and indifferent as ever. “So, please erase such concerns, Ms. Guillory."

Like that, he continued with his pace unchanged. It would not be long before they reached the gardens. From there, he could inquire what she would like to see next. It would seem he would not need to worry about his classes for now. At the same time, this was a pleasant change in his itinerary. Nature had always been a conducive comforting element to him. Of course, it was not openly shown or declared by him in any form. Yet deep inside, he does see its beauty in his own way of perception. It is why he had chosen to spend time outdoors when ever possible. At the very least, it gave him a sense of freedom. Even though, it was nothing more but a vague representation of an illusion. It was still pleasant to him enough.

Then, there was the impending question. There was no falter in his steps. Yet, he had come to a halt the exact time she had done so. This human girl seemed to know more about the world than she appears to. Slowly, he faced the girl. He watched her gently plucked the lily from the ground. She said something about her father. Her knowledge might have come from that person. Could it be from the Association? Or someone who has been involved with his kind in some way? Either way, the query had already been thrown to his way. His eyes of gold did not reveal anything. He remained unmoved, undisturbed. “I am." Short and crisp as always. His tone did not betray any sense of fear or doubt. It was coldly calm.

He walked towards her and then gazed at the lily in her hand. Then, he took it away from her grasp. In an instant, the lily was nothing but a memory as it wilted at an astonishing rate and became nothing more but a dry husk. A passing breeze came which broke the husk into dust while carrying the scent of roses. Yes, the scent uniquely from the Rosenkreuz Pure-blood. “Are you afraid." It was more of a statement than question from the manner it left his lips. is eyes were now once more on her face. He would not blame her if she ran away or declare that he was scary. If she did, it would mean he had done his job correctly. No matter how enticing. No matter how gentle. No matter how harmless. His kind will always be a threat, a danger, a monster. Moreover him, he who rules over them, he who had done such a heinous deed a year and half ago in this very grounds.

“Now, what do you want to do." Zenith had revealed what he is and even demonstrated what he could possibly do. She should know well that her being a human could do little harm against him. If her father truly did share knowledge about vampires, she must be well-aware of the monstrosity inside them, inside him. He stepped away from her. His face remained immovable and unchanging. There were also no changes in his tone nor demeanor. “You can leave to safety." Actually, he wanted her to go. That way, she would be spared from the sad and horrible things. He did not want what happened to Yamazaki be repeated. Yes, she should ran away. She should be scared of him and stay away, just like the others.

With that said, Zenith turned his back to her once more and began walking away. He was certain that the human girl would leave him. It was what he wanted. It was what is best. It was what he had done every time any attempts of a connection be established with him. He nips it at the root. But if one would look at the back of his, it was strong, dependable, and without hesitation. Yet if one could really see through that, he looked so alone, so sad, so broken, crying all the time. Yes, that is what he is even if he does not know it himself.

"I'm sorry... I can't make him stop crying..."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asuka Fujiwara Character Portrait: Zenith Rosenkreuz Character Portrait: Sora Tsukino Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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“There really isn’t any going back… but I don’t want to, anymore.”



A false promise. He knew that. Nothing lasted, and everything was eventually destroyed, the good things most of all. But he’d wanted to hear it all the same, to take that much succor from someone else’s simply being alive, and caring about him of all people enough to say it, even past all the doubt and all the possibilities of failure. But it must have been unfair of him to ask that. He was a selfish person, after all, and there was no longer any denying that. He’d once thought he'd be content with keeping his distance, staying away from all others, until such point as he could use him self up in pursuit of a goal. For the sake of someone else. He’d fooled himself thinking that his revenge would ever satisfy him, but he’d allowed his use for the end all the same.

But he couldn't do that anymore. There were too many things that he wanted now, things that precluded him from simply being a knife in someone else’s hand. Could he accept this about himself? The answer remained to be seen. Perhaps…

Asuka was not done speaking, though, and for a distant moment, he wondered what they would be like, if this world were not such an ugly place. Would they still be as they were? Or would their closeness have ended before it ever became closeness at all? Would they simply be two students, ordinary as they could be, passing occasionally in the hall, exchanging barbs from time to time? Would she be the violinist that he didn’t know the identity of? Would he content himself with the music, or would he have never been drawn to it at all, the way the more mournful pieces seemed to reflect something of his own soul back at him?

His eyes closed as her grip tightened around him, and his lips quirked into a smile. “I’d be stupid if I insisted on helping you without ever letting you help me,” he said, which was rather a way of admitting he had been stupid. His pride had kept him from this for longer than it should have, but he was beginning to see that his pride didn’t matter at all. Not next to her. His canines extended, and he waited for just a moment, hovering above that juncture in her flesh that so fascinated him, giving her one last chance to back out, to refuse, to insist that it had been a mistake. But she did not, and it was with an exhale that was almost relieved that he sank his teeth into that tender flesh.

It was not something that he’d ever learned how to do, but in this as in many other things, instinct guided him, and he let it. Having tasted actual blood only seldom in his lifetime, and that usually his own in the heat of a fight, the taste of it was almost overwhelming to his senses: stronger and more compelling than he remembered it. The temptation to overindulge was great, especially when more of her memories, pieces of her that he had not yet encountered, began to flit over the surface of his mind. He wanted to know her, and this was one sure way to do that, to understand what of herself that it was hard to ask for or put into words. But he knew restraint—it was his oldest lesson, and so he pulled back a little, passing his tongue over the wound as it closed and leaning back. His eyes, normally black as the void, were twin rubies in that moment, faintly aglow, and they bored into hers with some new understanding that he hadn’t had before. It was strange, but also exhilarating, and seemed to coax some kind of adrenaline response in him.

He wanted to kiss her. Ordinarily, this thought would never have translated into action, because restraint was something of a specialty of his, but now, flooded with sensations that he had no immunity against and no experience with, he faltered in that restraint. Even so, when he slanted his mouth over hers, the touch was as gentle as he knew how to make it, tender rather than demanding, though not from hesitation. He had certainly not hesitated.




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“I know how small I am, in the grand scheme of things. But sometimes, all it takes is a tiny stone to alter the flow of a river.”



She watched the flower crumble away into ash, turning to watch the dust float away on the wind. She lifted a hand for a moment, the soft substance teasing her pale fingers as it passed through them. She smiled wistfully. Father Renault was like that now… ash on the wind. “Such a shame.” But… she wasn’t talking about the flower, or her father. All things left this world in their time, and death was nothing to pity. Only the living needed concern. Strange, that ash should smell the faintest bit like roses, never mind that it had come from a different flower entirely. She assumed it had something to do with the magic he’d worked on it. It seemed that he had some connection to the dominion of death or spirits, which wasn’t something she’d known to associate with vampires, exactly. Well, perhaps it was simply a unique property of his.

She turned back to him when he spoke, though, pushing back a few strands of hair that had chased the ash on the breeze as far as they could go, licking at the air like flames. His question struck her as the wrong one, somehow. Fear and bravery were not the terms in which she understood the world. There were only the things that one was willing to accept as part of the weave of fate, and things that one strove to fight against. She didn’t answer at first, and then he spoke again, informing her that she was free do what she wanted to do. Safety… now, there was an illusion if she’d ever known one. It was almost… amusing, the way he said it. If there was something in this world really out to get her, fleeing wouldn’t stop it. If she was to get hurt or die, she would never want to do it hiding someplace she thought was safe. Nothing, nobody was safe. Human beings killed and hurt each other all the time, with no help from anything or anyone else. She did not assume that anyone else was different. Everything was a risk. Life was about choosing which ones you wanted to take.

She watched his retreating back for a moment, and she knew that he thought he was doing her a kindness, this way. Whatever had hurt him had done so deeply, and it was not done with him yet—she could feel that much. Clasping her hands in front of her, Ana made her decision. “What would you say, if I told you I wasn’t?” she asked, taking a few steps forward. “If I told you that I’d felt the darkness looming over this place before I ever came here and chose to come anyway? If I said that there is no safety, and that I wouldn’t want it if there were?” She caught up with him, this time walking directly by his side, but far enough away not to invade his personal space.

“What if I told you that my name wasn’t ‘Ms. Guillory,’ that it was Anastasia, and that what I wanted to do was continue the tour?” She paused, then shrugged, smiling a bit to herself. “You said you always do what you want, so what do you want to do now?” She knew that there was a very real possibility he’d just leave her there, but if he did, she wanted it to be a choice he made, not one of hers. Maybe she was being pushy, maybe it was none of her business, but she’d been raised to care about people, and to help them, and to understand that sometimes, it was the little things that mattered. If what he said was true, if he really always did do what he wanted, then that meant there was some reason he was here. Maybe he just needed a break from everything at school, maybe it has something to do with that deep, dark sadness in him, but whatever the case, he’d chosen to be here. She wasn’t going to throw that back in his face by leaving; it would just be wrong.

“If you don't mind staying, I think I’d like to know where your favorite place is, on the campus.”

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Character Portrait: Zenith Rosenkreuz Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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|“Though sympathy alone can't alter facts, it can help to make them more bearable.”|




This was completely unexpected. If it was possible for Zenith to show surprise, he would. His conclusion was that the human will stay away from him after such statements. Instead, the girl had called out to him. She inquired what he would do, if she would not leave. He stopped from his tracks. However, he did not look behind him. Various answers filled his head. What would he do, if she does not leave? He would have done nothing. It was never in his nature to force or to coerce anyone beyond their own will. For his part, he would simply avoid her as much as possible. It would do her no good to be near him or even establish a connection with him. Even more now, he is a target and every one wanted to end his existence for many reasons. He did not want her to be involved in that or anyone else for that matter.

She continued on and soon, he felt her presence beside him. The Rosenkreuz pure blood was silent and still in his position. His eyes did not glance at her and remained looking in front of him. This girl did not care for the terrible consequences which would befall her if she was dragged into this abyssal world of night. Zenith was not certain what to think of this human girl. Was she brave? Was she foolish? Was she someone who did not care for either way? There was a time like this when he had told Yamazaki to stay away. The girl distanced herself from him which he had intended. Although, she had been rooted to this dark world before his revelation. Now, she was gone to a place where no one can reach. He wished her happiness. This is what he really hoped for. However, it seemed his wishes were not enough in the end.

Disturbing his inner soliloquy, Zenith finally looked at the human girl beside her. She stated her name was not Ms. Guillory but Anastasia. It seemed she wanted her to be addressed as such. Furthermore, she wanted to continue the tour. She had also asked him what he wanted to do which mirrored his words earlier. That is correct. He always had done what he willed, never ordered, never pressured by anyone. So, what will he do indeed. Usually, people would disperse from his side from the moment he told them to do so. They would be put off by his cold and emotionless treatment. There were some who would try to stay at first, but then would give up. Yes, just like them... In the end, he was alone which he truly preferred. However, this girl was different. She reminded him of Luke due to her somewhat straightforward manner. Still, it made him wonder if she would also give up in the end.

Soon, she ended her statement by asking him to take her to his favorite spot. Given, he would not mind staying by her side. There was a very noticeable long silence from Zenith. Yet, his face was still completely vacant of any known emotions. His eyes of gold did not reveal any of his thoughts nor opinion of what she had declared to him. As such, the silence hanged in the air as he continued to look at the human girl with a hair of burning flames. However looking at it now, it was more like the color of sunset. It reminded him of his house, the Land of Roses. There was a pleasant familiarity. “Then if you would be fine with my company...” He started as his words echoed with its usual monotone while he offered his hand to her. A gesture which seemed archaic and polite. “I would take you to a place that is my sanctuary, Ms. Guillory.” He only call someone by name only by a certain level of relationship. Actually, the only one he calls by their first names are Luke, Alice, and his sister, Amalthea.

Whether she took his hand or not, he continued leading the way. For now, he will play his part as a tour guide. He did take that responsibility. The place he brought her was a place barely known. It was rather untouched and held a magical quality to its atmosphere. Zenith lead her to the middle of the curved bridge as pink petals drifted around them like rain. This area was his sanctuary. No one had come to this place except for those he had accompanied here once. Even then, he does not take lightly to other people trampling this place. He usually stay in this area for meditation or just the feeling of wanting to be far from everyone and everything. A place where nothing exists around him, but the ones he only wished to be.

Zenith released her hand and went towards a patch of wild flowers. They had been taken care of by him personally. In the destruction of this Academy before, he had managed to left this place unharmed. Due to that, the plants and flowers he had tended remained lively and beautiful. As such, he would always visit this place to take care this sanctuary of his in peace. Lowering himself to the ground, he gently touched one of the flowers in the patch. As if, he had done something. The said flower seemed to bloom more wonderfully than ever. It was followed by the other flowers as if saying they were happy to have him visit them. Of course, he did nothing out of the ordinary as he was satisfied with what he saw. Standing once more, he was covered lightly by the pink petals in which he caught one in his hand.

“This tree never stopped blooming.” Zenith implied about the lone cherry blossoms tree which never failed to bloom new flowers every time. It was rather odd but, also rather enchanting in a sense. He then released the petal he caught into the passing breeze. His eyes followed the floating petal until was out of his line of sight. It was only then, he turned to look at Guillory, or rather Anastasia. He then walked towards her and without hesitation crossed the private space between them. His face was dangerous closed to hers. However, he only meant to catch a petal about to land on his face. “Pink suits you.” He noted as the color contrasted her hair. Pulling away from her, their distance were restored as he released the petal once more. “Do you have any other requests, Ms. Guillory.” Stoic and indifferent as ever.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asuka Fujiwara Character Portrait: Zenith Rosenkreuz Character Portrait: Sora Tsukino Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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“You’re amazing, you know that?”



It was she that shifted the nature of their embrace, and he found that he did not mind this. She had changed so much of the rest of him, shaken him right off his foundations of pride and duty and vengeance, and he’d been content to let her, knowing that he’d been looking for an excuse to step off that path all along. She’d given him one—he needed to do it to protect her, his friend. He’d needed to become more than he used to be for her sake.

This was no longer that: he wasn’t changing because she was his friend. He did not respond to the aggression in the way she kissed him with something just as heated, just as devouring, because she was his friend. And he certainly did not nip at her lower lip and slide his tongue along hers because they were friends. Sora had, after all, had friends before, however few they were. But this was not something that he’d ever had cause to do, and frankly he was starting to wonder what had taken him so long, because there was something about it that called to the same primal part of him as the hunt. Only that was not so heated, so blistering and mind-blanking as this. He was not unable to think of anything else when he hunted, even if the razor focus, the way each sensation seemed magnified, was similar.

He wanted her. In a way he’d never wanted anyone else before. The thought wasn’t as startling as he expected it to be—rather, it was like several more pieces of this puzzle that was what they were to each other, sliding into place, and locking there. He wondered if she knew, that with every breath they exchanged, every small noise, she was just engraving her name onto the thing that beat between his lungs. He’d never had another use for it—she could have it if she wanted it, but he didn’t know how to say this. In all the things he had learned, in every bit of information he’d been taught or experienced or picked up by instinct alone, there was nothing for that feeling. So for the moment, he allowed himself to revel in that which instinct did provide a guide for.

Slowly, he backed them up into the nearest tree, pinning her there with his superior weight. Only then did he part to allow them both air, sensing that she might need it. He wasn’t unaffected himself, and his breathing was shortened, his heart still thundering away as though he’d run for days, only there wasn’t even the faintest trace of fatigue, just more adrenaline. She’d been saying something, and for some reason, now that he could think in decent intervals again, he wanted to know how the sentence finished. “You… what?” he asked, a slow smile overtaking his face. It was mischief and lightness and something so very unlike what he would usually wear that it surprised even him. But he felt… lighter, here. Now, with her, like the troubles that waited for them at every turn were that much further away.

Her answer wasn’t quick enough in coming for his taste, so he decided that there were other, much better ways to persuade her to speak. If her response earlier was any indication, she was enjoying this just as much as he was, and it couldn’t really be considered torture if it was enjoyable, could it? “You should tell me,” he murmured lowly. “I’m trained in interrogation, you know.” It was a playful threat if ever there was one, and he bit gently at the shell of her ear, trailing a line of kisses down her throat to her shoulder.




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“I'm quite sure I've never met anyone like you before.”



Well, small steps, right? She honestly wasn’t sure whether she’d expected him to use her given name or not, but she wasn’t put off that he didn’t. After all, some people were just more formal, and it wasn’t as though they were friends. Still, whatever his reasons, it was nice of him to do this, though she wasn’t really sure why he prefaced it the way he did. If she’d minded his company, why would she have asked? Such an unusual thing to say. Nevertheless, she accepted his arm with a friendly smile, weaving hers through his as the old custom dictated, so that her palm rested only lightly on his forearm. Her father had been rather old-fashioned himself, so she knew all sorts of odd things like this.

She didn’t find the silence all that awkward, and so there was no need to make needless conversation as they walked, and she chose to enjoy the sunlight on her face and the breeze toying with her hair. There were some days when she could just look out at the world and be glad to be in it, darkness or no. Today seemed to be shaping up to be one of those days, and that was good. It had been hard, when her father died not too long before she was due to take her plane to Cross. She’d almost canceled her plans. But in the end, she’d come, knowing that there was really no place for her in France anymore. It was time to find another place, another way to be. Never an easy task, but a worthwhile one all the same.

This place, though… it really did deserve the name sanctuary. It felt like a little piece of paradise on earth. She was actually a little surprised that he’d share it with anyone, let alone her, but then, she had asked to be here, hadn’t she? Perhaps it was only that nobody else had asked. Or maybe all of his friends knew it was here… though that seemed a bit… odd, to say. He released her hand, but that was fine—she was honestly too in awe of the beautiful plants to really notice it. Taking a few slow steps forward off the bridge, she held her hands out to her sides and turned a slow circle in the midst of the falling petals, utterly unconcerned with the fact that she probably looked silly. It was so beautiful, truly.

Her attention was drawn when he knelt by a bed of flowers, and the way they bloomed at a touch made her wonder if, like so many other things, what he’d been able to do to the lily had another side. She was no mean gardener herself, but she doubted very much anything she would ever try to grow would look like this. She couldn’t stifle a quiet laugh at the fact that it seemed to be snowing petals on him, as though they were magnetized in his direction. It was such an odd picture, given how little his face betrayed. Nothing, if she were being honest, but that didn’t stop her from reading things into it, because that was her nature.

The rather sudden closure of the gap between them made her blink in surprise—no, there were no imperfections in him even this close. It was like someone had carved him out of light and snow. That close, even her human nose could pick up on the fact that he smelled like flowers, subtly different from the ones around here. Roses, if she knew her botany, and she did. What a curious kind of person he was. She raised a brow slightly at his comment about pink, wondering if perhaps he was pointing out the fact that she was blushing very slightly, but then she saw the petal he’d caught, and understood the meaning. “You think so?” she asked with some mild hint of confusion, picking another petal out of the silk threads of her hair and scrutinizing it. She wasn’t so sure, herself, but then, it was an idle comment. No need to give it meaning it did not have.

Any other requests? She tipped her head to one side, raising an index finger to her chin. The look of thoughtfulness that crossed her face was a bit exaggerated, and intentionally so. She even drew out a “Hmm…” just because she felt like it. She wondered if he ever felt lighthearted. Probably not—he seemed weighed down by something that could not be touched. Not by her, probably not even by himself.

There were a lot of requests she could have made. Some of them serious, some of them silly. She was curious what it would look like if he smiled. She wanted to know what had made him so sad. She might even want to see some of the other things on the grounds. But in the end, Anastasia didn’t ask for any of these things. “I request,” she said quietly, staring him dead in the eye without fear or hesitation, “That you don’t give up. You aren’t what you show yourself to be, Zenith, and that’s none of my business, really. But… I just think it would be awfully tragic, if you were sad forever.”

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Character Portrait: Zenith Rosenkreuz Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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|“They say that life throws a curve ball. I believe I understand now what they meant...”|




It is truly official. This girl was different from many others, he had encountered. She seemed unmindful of what he is or how he seemed to be lacking in the emotional department. It was refreshing in a sense. There would always be a line with him whether due to him being a vampire, being a pure-blood, being a Rosenkreuz, or being a person to be idolized. No one truly looked at him further than that. The only ones who ever did were Amalthea and Luke. She continued in her ministrations whatever it could be as she think of his inquiry for requests. Her thoughtful expression so blatantly seen on her face. It would not be a lie for him to say she rather looked adorable in that sense. But of course, he never reveals his feelings or thoughts openly. Everything will always be locked deep within him without the possibility of being known.

Deep in his bubble, a butterfly landed on the tip of his nose. This one was not his familiar or created by him in any way. It was one of nature. His eyes of gold gazed at the lithe white butterfly perching on his face without warrant. As usual, nothing was revealed in his mask of indifference. Yet inwardly, he was rather curious and interested in this flying insect. He wondered if this butterfly thought he was some kind of flower. It really did not matter to him much, but it was probably due to his inherent scent. For that, there is nothing he could do. Soon, there was strong breeze which passed by and made the butterfly fly away. He followed it until it landed on a nearby flower. When he was certain it was fine, he returned his attention to the human girl in his company.

She appeared to have finally decided on her request. Whatever it may be, he will do it to the best of his ability. Truthfully, he had no problems with such things. No matter how silly or embarrassing it may appear to other people. He had always done it. Although, he had wondered at one point that it seemed well-liked by other people in a pleasant manner. Well, as long as it would bring others smiles. Someone had told him once, how important a smile is to a person. It could mean life and death. Recently, he was slowly understanding the meaning behind those words. The question, will he be able to procure that ability. Somehow, he highly doubted it to be plausible in his case.

Then, her words rang clear in his ears. Zenith did not move from his position nor did he lift his attention away from the human girl. There was no hesitation, trickery, nor fear in her words. She was simply saying what she truly perceives of him. Her request was out of concern which he sorely believes would be wasted on him. There was no need for others to worry about his well-being. Because, he was not. His life and his fate were in his hands. So, others should not be involved in it. At the same time, he has no intentions for anyone to be. It is why he placed everyone at the distance. But, this girl was someone who manages to peek through his well-known impenetrable wall. As such, she is indeed surprising in many ways.

Ms. Guillory requested for him not to give up. She seemed to believe that he was not what he appears to be. That he was sad and was a tragedy to be for eternity. What made her think that he was sad? No one had ever told him that ever since. It was because no one had ever perceived him to be. Yet, this human girl he had only met just a few moments believed him to be. “There is nothing for me to give up.” He stated without a change in his monotone voice. What would he give up from the beginning? He has nothing and... A familiar face flashed inside his head. It was never his to begin with. “I do not have anything.” After stating that, the butterfly which landed on his nose earlier was now fluttering before his face.

His eyes focused on the butterfly before it landed on the tip of his nose once more. It seemed determined to perched on his nose for some odd reason it may have. At the same time, it was bit hard to deliver his words with the butterfly in front of his face. However, he does not want to remove it by his intervention since the butterfly seemed content on his nose. As such, he decided to proceed with his statements even with the peculiar adornment on his nose. “What made you believe I am sad.” Even though, his words were meant to be a question his emotionless tone portrayed it as a statement. The same could be said of his eyes which looked at her unflinchingly. Yet, it was rather comedic with the butterfly on his nose flopping its wings like a beating heart.

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Character Portrait: Asuka Fujiwara Character Portrait: Zenith Rosenkreuz Character Portrait: Sora Tsukino Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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“I didn’t know how dark my world really was until you lit it up.”



That smile—that subtle, sly quirk of her lips—was going to undo him someday, he just knew it. He was considering how best to press this interrogation of his when he felt both of her hands on his face, and he went along as she directed, locking eyes with her. Past the point of taking blood, his had returned to their usual black color, but that was where the resemblance ended. They were not flat, nor did they seem cold. If anything, there was warmth in them, and depth. He’d never bothered to do things like pick a favorite color, but he knew in that moment that his was and would always be jade-green. Her eyes reflected the light just a little, making the color seem at once pale and rich, like the sun shone through a gem. And when did he start constructing metaphors? Well, it didn’t matter to him. He’d write her poetry if she wanted it, however unlike him it would be.

He could feel her hesitation in that too-brief moment she kissed him, and so, much as he wanted to, he didn’t try to push or deepen it. He was sensing that the answer he would receive had much more weight to it than he’d expected when he asked, and if so, she had every right to take a moment to give it. The arms that caged her to the tree dropped gently to the lines of her shoulders, delicate but strong—like she was. He kept his forehead bowed to touch hers, their noses scarce centimeters apart. He’d never voluntarily been this close to another person before, but he didn’t mind it. For once, he found it hard to concentrate on all the things the environment around him was telling him through his senses, because they were all so filled with her that he didn’t care about anything else. Not in this moment.

At the hitch in her breath, his own stilled, his entire body freezing into a perfectly motionless render of what he was, the knowledge of what he was about to hear clicking into place a split second before he heard it. And when he did, everything else suddenly made so much sense. He hadn’t wanted to think that it could be the answer, because he didn’t truly know what it was. And yet… wasn’t that just another kind of cowardice? A fear of confronting the unknown only because it was unknown? Sora was many things, but he had never been a coward. Now, when things seemed more important than anything else he’d done in his life, seemed hardly the time to start being one.

"I love you."


He was suspended in animation for another three seconds after that, closing his eyes and processing the effect that three short syllables, such miniscule words, could have on someone like him. Nobody in his entire life had ever told him that they loved him. Not the people who called him their child, not his only friends, not his cousin, not his ward. No one, in more than a hundred years of life.

If he could call it a life.

The first word had tensed him, like a drawn bowstring, taut and immobile. The second had been a cracking blow to a barrier he had not known existed in him, and the third, with its subtle emphasis, had broken through it altogether, and whatever it was that had held him back, stopped him from feeling as other men felt, living as he desired, hearing the things his heart was so desperately yelling at him, shattered utterly. He released the breath he’d been holding, a palpable note of relief in it, and wrapped his arms around her, melding them together so that there was no space, not even a tiny pocket of air, between them. He held her like she was the most precious thing in all the world, breakable and fragile and his, and he shuddered, a tremor wracking his spine. “Asuka,” he said, and the word was uttered so tenderly, so choked with emotion that it almost didn’t sound like his own voice. “I can’t… there’s no way I can tell you how much that means to me, no way I can repay you for what you’ve given me. All I can do is love you, as much as you’ll let me. I don’t know how, and I’ll probably get it wrong, a lot, but I can promise that I’ll never stop.”

It wasn’t enough. Nothing would be enough. But she was generous and forgiving, and he supposed that there was a chance that she’d take it, and forgive him for lacking the rest.




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“Everybody has something to give or give up. I’d bet you’ve got more than most.”



“What could possibly have made you think so?” she wondered aloud, shaking her head slightly. “Everyone has something to give. And if they can give it, they can give it up, too. Even at the worst times, when we have nothing else, we always have ourselves, what we can do, who we are. We have a will, things we want, things we like and don’t like. We have our potential—the things we could do. Some of us,” here she paused a bit ruefully, sighing as though to herself, “even have dreams. That’s not nothing. And as long as we have that, seeing our way through the dark is only ever hard, not impossible.” She was willing to bet that he had a lot to give, actually, but maybe nobody had ever told him so. Maybe he’d never discovered it about himself. It was hard to say.

The butterfly from earlier landed on his nose again, and she laughed. It was a light sound, and rather quiet, but her delight was obvious all the same. It was such a funny picture, and it lent him some kind of… almost human quality. Whereas before he’d seemed to be something from another world, somehow, the humor of the little butterfly on his face made him look like he really belonged in this one. It was a good look for him, she thought.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it did think you were a flower,” she noted, for a moment forgetting that the thought he’d had on the matter had never been voiced aloud. She wasn’t trying to read his mind, but like so many things, her powers weren’t always exactly under her control. Of course, the realization happened with his question-statement… thing. It was kind of a question, but his way of putting things was such that it sounded more like a statement. It was just something else about him that was different from most people, she supposed.

Her smile wilted a bit, until it was something almost melancholy. “It’s not a matter of believing,” she said quietly, taking a deep breath. The scent of the flowers and fresh water and life was so strong here. Was she imagining that she still smelled roses, too? “I know it, in here.” she tapped her temple with her first two fingers. And I can feel it, in here. The hand moved down to her heart, and she laid her palm over it gently. Rather than being spoken aloud, the words were given directly to his mind, because that way, there would be no doubt about what she meant. She was careful with it, and gentle, and she knew from experience that it caused no pain. But most people disliked it anyway.

This was the point where they left, usually. If not, they tended to get mad at her, which she supposed was a little understandable. She always had enough respect to weather either response, but that was not to deny that it hurt a little, when it happened. From new acquaintances to old friends, she’d broken a lot of ties this way, and perhaps she’d grown used to it, to some extent. There was no controlling what other people did, after all, and she could understand not wanting someone else to know what you were thinking, even if that person tried not to know. Even if they would never use it against you or tell anyone else. It was hard to believe that, after all. Especially when you were used to being used or hurt or sad, or some combination of the three.

“Please don’t think too poorly of me,” she said, switching back to using her actual voice. “I didn’t intend to know. It just… happens.” She said it, but honestly, she wasn’t holding out a whole lot of hope for that. What she did was unnatural, and there was no reason to expect anyone to be fine with it.

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Character Portrait: Zenith Rosenkreuz Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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|“You are a foreign concept. Somehow, I cannot help but hope...”|




Her words were beautiful like a wonderful melody. It was enchanting and bright. These words were somewhat similar to prefect Fujiwara said on that night. That is why it made him strictly believe that she is a being of light even if she think to be otherwise than that. It is why he was certain she did not belong in the world of darkness. As such, he made measures to ensure that which he also did with Yamazaki. For someone like him, a speck or even a shimmer of light could never reach him. In the words of his dear sister, he was a monster. This had been proven due to the irrevocable deeds done by him personally. He could easily dismiss lives as if flicking through a page of a newspaper. Thus, he became a being of great fear for the Vampire Society and a prominent threat to the Hunter Association. He is indeed a very dangerous being.

So, Zenith came to one conclusion. This girl was of light. He was of darkness. She does not belong in this world of his. Speaking of dreams, speaking of will, he knew of those things. However, it was not applicable to him. His dreams are mere memories already of the past. He has no hope for any kind of future. There is already a set path for him and he has no intention to deviate from it. As for will, he always have that. It is the only thing which he allows himself to have freedom over. That is why he is able to spare others from a greater sense of tragedy by distancing himself from them in various ways. Then, her notion of seeing in the dark. It was also not applicable. He is contented with the darkness because it is who he is truly. A black abyss, that is what he is in a sense.

Then, she laughed. It was delightful sound. Zenith would not mind hearing of it more. Yet, he will be contented hearing it from afar. Of course, his expression remained void from any kind of emotions. He was stoic as ever. She seemed amused of the butterfly on his nose. Well, he was the same. So, there was nothing to think of. But, there was something odd in her commentary. It seemed he was agreeing to his thought of being seen as a flower by the butterfly. There was nothing wrong with that. The only thing which was out of context. He never said it. All of it was inside his head. Truly, an odd thing. However, he did not take note of it to her. Letting it passed as a mere coincidence.

As for his question, the answer was soon revealed to him by a mental connection. This girl was not an ordinary human as she may appear to be. It seemed his precarious assumption has merit in regards to her. Zenith was surprised by her voice in his head. Yet, he did not show it as usual of his conduct. So, this human girl was able to read minds. It does provide many of his questions a sense of closure. In any case, this was a first for him. Not because of meeting a human with ability, it was more like he will not need to speak to reveal his emotions or thoughts. At the same time, his facade will be rendered useless. She will be able to always know. Somehow, he did not mind it that much as he would have hoped for. Rather, he felt that a weight was taken off from his shoulders. Why was that now?

“It is of no consequence.” Zenith stated as the butterfly finally flew away from his nose. His eyes followed it before disappearing on the fields of flowers nearby. There is foreseeable dislike in many people who would know such talent of hers. It is also true that it is intrusive for others to read his mind and thoughts. Yet, it also save him time to explain his notions which he never does. In the end, he really did not mind. Although, he would have to give her a warning. “A warning. My mind is not pleasant. I am a dark creature in every sense.” He cautioned her since it seems her ability has the tendency to peer unexpectedly to other people's mind. More especially, he did not want her to be disturbed or be scarred unwittingly by his own deadly sins.

“As such, darkness is me. If you grew fearful of me, I will only see this as appropriate.” After stating that, he finally returned his sun-colored eyes to her. She seemed certain that he will reject her ability. He did think so but now, her knowing about his thoughts were not much of a violation. That is her will and he cannot do anything about it. Neither is he against it, in which he found completely it to be peculiar. “In any case, the request you have asked. You need not be concerned.” The golden eyes which is like his appeared within his mind. The source of his reason to exist in this world or even what propelled him to leave his land. “I have yet to give up.”

After that is stated, Zenith looked at the continuous falling pink petals. It showered upon them in such a delicate and sweet manner. As if, they were the only two beings in existence at paradise. “Since, I believe it is not much of a request. Do you have another.” He asked as he caught a bloom which was taken by the wind. It was a yellow daisy. Glancing at her, he was having a thoughtful moment. Of course, it was not seen on the outside. Without further ado, he placed the bloom on her head, making it a natural hair accessory. “You are also now a flower.” He stated as he once more looked at the falling petals awaiting for her request.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asuka Fujiwara Character Portrait: Zenith Rosenkreuz Character Portrait: Sora Tsukino Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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“I have known nothing like this. It was slow and faltering in coming, but now that it is upon me, it is almost as though I have forgotten everything else.”



Her fingers against his scalp and through the loose locks of his hair produced a throaty noise from him, something almost similar to one Midori would make. One could nearly call it a purr, because it was the sound of pure contentment. He was here and she was here, and there was nothing standing between them anymore. He hadn’t known he wanted it, and yet he could not any longer imagine wanting anything else. His life, which had seemed to him rather impoverished, dark with the occasional bright spot, now carried a sense of completeness. He had friends, he had a family, however small, and he had her. It was almost too much, for someone like him.

But he knew she would not appreciate the thought, that lingering sense of his own unworthiness, and so for her, he pushed it away for now, locking it up somewhere tight in his mind. The last wisps of that smoky uncertainty were burned away with the heat of her kiss, and if anything, he matched it, fervent and more sure of this, of her, than he had ever been of anything. Asuka Tsukino was a bit of a surprise, and for a frantic moment, he would have choked, had he been able to, but though his heart skipped a beat, thudding irregularly in his chest, it was not a wholly unwelcome thought. Just one for another time. This was new, and it was best to wait until it was a little older for thoughts like that. He understood that there would never ben anyone else for him, whatever that brought them, but even so, it might be better to adjust to the idea, first.

But he didn’t dislike it. He didn’t dislike it at all.

He smiled down at her softly, tucking a strand of her hair behind her ear. He’d rather mussed it, as he suspected she had disheveled his. Gathering her up in his arms, he bounded into a run, the smile still on his face, then, once he reached a fixed point, he jumped, enjoying the weightless sensation of it admittedly less than the feel of her against him. A few more hops and they were in one of his favorite places—the top of the tallest tree in the forest. From here outwards, they could look out over the canopies of the other trees and see the varying shades of green. None were quite as brilliant as her eyes, but they were, he supposed, beautiful in their own way. Beyond that, the school grounds were visible, and the buildings and the lake. It was, overall, a very lovely vista, but he was more interested in things closer to himself.

Sora settled them both on a branch, putting her back against his chest and draping his arms over her shoulders, his legs running along the outside of hers. He propped his chin on her head, wrapping her in himself and still feeling keenly that they were not quite close enough. It would do, for now. “Tell me something,” he asked quietly. Though the words were phrased as a demand, the tone was one of entreaty, of request. “Anything about you that you want me to know. What is your favorite color? What kinds of things so you eat? When did you learn to play the violin? What do you want to do with the rest of your life?” Over time, Sora had come to know a lot about Asuka, but their friendship was unconventional. He knew more about how she fought than how she spent her leisure time, more about who she was at her core than the odd little tidbits that people usually picked up through acquaintance. He wanted to know everything, but he would be content for now to start with what she wanted to tell him.




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“I wonder, if you know what you’ve just given me…”



“It is of no consequence.”


The words surprised her, the expression flitting across her face like the flight of a hummingbird. Of all the reactions she’d ever received, that had not been among them. What she could do was always something to someone. Frightening, reprehensible, an abomination. Or, on the other side, miraculous, fascinating, worth nurturing. Of all the people she’d ever met, none had simply known and let it be. Perhaps she should have found this insulting, like she did not count for enough to merit a reaction at all, of any kind. But this was not how Anastasia took it at all. Rather, she felt as though she’d been freed of something. She was not hated for something she could not change, but nor was she expected to do anything differently because of it. He was, whether consciously or not, simply allowing her to be as she was.

It was a gift of such magnitude she almost wasn’t sure what to think.

The least she could do was give it back, she thought. A dark creature, with dark thoughts, he said. Perhaps that was so—his sadness seemed to carry a certain shadowed ponderousness to it, heavy and blackened all at once. “My father used to say that we fear that which we don’t understand. Dark things are harder for us to see, and so we revile them. He said that it was only our weakness that made it so, that in reality, God has put even the dark things on this earth for a purpose, and that they are just as worthy as the rest of us. I don’t know about God, but it seems to me that darkness is nothing to fear. Only something to be understood, and accepted.” She lifted a shoulder in a small shrug. There was, of course, more to it than that, but need there be? What was dark was necessary for the survival of what was light. Only through understanding sadness could one know what it was like to be happy. Only sin could bring about forgiveness. The most beautiful things in the world were dependent on those that were feared, or hated, or dark.

She nodded gently when he said he had yet to give up—that was good. She’d thought so, but at the same time, sometimes it could seem so easy, to relinquish one’s effort. It was always a terrible thing to watch, and she’d felt moved to say it, to ask it of him. Because she truly thought: as long as a person didn’t give up, then there was hope.

It was hard to imagine having this conversation with someone who had until a very short time ago been a complete stranger to her. But that was the thing about Ana: nobody was a stranger for long, with her. And besides, Zenith seemed like he might have been able to make good use of someone to talk to. She wondered if he ever shared his burdens, or always kept them locked up so tightly underneath that placid blank face of his. She was willing to bet on the second. It was understandable. Sometimes, sharing of oneself with others was the hardest task of all. With her, it was unavoidable, and effortless. She simply knew.

Ana closed her eyes and lifted her head a little. The sun was warm on her face, and the petals soft. It really was a little piece of what her father called Heaven. She wondered if he was there, in that place he’d always believed he would go after he died. If anyone deserved such an end, it was him. A slight change in the weight on her head caused her to open her eyes, and there was Zenith, closer than he had been. Her hand went automatically to the spot, and she felt the petals of the daisy at the same time he made the comment about her being a flower now. Ana smiled softly, tucking the short stem of the flower more securely about her ear. “You’re a bit odd, Mr. Rosenkreuz,” she said, though her tone indicated that it was a compliment more than anything. Ana tended to like odd people—they generally had more interesting things to say than other people.

She gave the matter some thought, though, and appeared to study his face, as though looking for something. Whatever it was, and whether or not she found it, were not things she gave away. Instead, her smile brightened. “Well, since you asked,” she replied, canting her head faintly to the side, “Yes, I do. It’s simple, really: let me be your friend? You don't have to be mine, I’ll understand if that’s something you don’t desire to do. But let me decide for myself whether I want to stand far from you or at your side. Whether I’m willing to risk the dark. Let me be there if you need someone to talk to… or to not talk to, if you prefer. Let me help you where and how I can. Would that be too much to ask?” She could tell he preferred to distance himself from those he thought he would harm—but somehow, she did not want this. If being as dark as he thought himself was what it took someone to let her be as she was without hating, fearing, or expecting the world of her, then perhaps it was time to stand next to the darkness for a while, and see what came of it.

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Character Portrait: Zenith Rosenkreuz Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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|“Only in my endless dreams, do I see you. So, I will continue to sleep inside you."|




The words that escaped the girl's lips were like delicate pieces of porcelain. Fragile, yet very mesmerizing, in a sense. She seemed unafraid of the darkness that she might witness by incident within the depths of his mind. Uncanny. This would be the first time for him to meet a person who would possibly be nonchalant of the sins he has done and is willing to do in the future. As such, he found that trait of hers unorthodox for a human. This truly made him curious about her mind works. How deep is her perception and outlook of life. Perhaps, this is the influence of her father. The person he had concluded to have informed her about the existence of vampires. Judging by the way she talks about this man, she does not only adores but highly respects her father. It is a sentiment which he is very familiar with.

He continued to listen about her opinion in which darkness exists in continuity with light. It is a fact he is well acquainted with. She speaks that it is a weakness which people concocted. However, he would have to disagree on that point. He does not view it as such. Instead, he sees it as his only strength. People rarely conceives to such harsh things and sees them as tainted. In his perception, he is the color black, absorbing all, yet never reflects anything back. He accepts that his actions are unacceptable by moral and ethics. However, it is by his standard permissible. Why? It is because, he is darkness. This is how he is and that is why those beings who shine so bright would only lose their radiance by his side. He is a plague and this description of his is the closest to what he had done and will be doing if given the assumption of his will.

She continued to air her belief that darkness was something to be understood and to be accepted. This human girl has no sense of caution. It made him wonder what kind of home, she was raised in. He was not going to undermine it. Rather, he wanted to urge this girl to return to such a wonderful place, to her father. There was no need for her to be in an area where she is far from the ones she loves. As for him, he was in a place where he could continue the reason for his existence, the reason for his being. Due to it, he was willing to destroy this entire world if it could make his one wish, his one hope to be true. Would this human girl be still accepting of him when he does such a thing? Will she understand him or hate him?

Yet at the very least, Zenith was far from giving up on this purpose. However, one would wonder if it was for the best he does not give up. Well, only time could really say. Right now, there was only the present in which he was acclimating himself to how peaceful and relaxing this place is. In any case, the girl described him as odd. Would it be due to his actions or statements? Based on her tone, he could conclude that it did not have a negative connotation. More likely, her interest on him seemed to have been pegged more. Thinking about it, someone also described him as such in the past. Memories which he holds preciously played through his head like a monochrome film.

Saint... You're so odd...

During those times, Zenith was not certain what Amalthea meant. Nor is he interested in finding out. All that mattered to him. She was by his side and will always be. Her amber eyes which reflected clarity and vibrancy. Silver white locks which he would always loved to run his fingers through. A voice sickly sweet yet warm, he could never get tired listening to. The smile which erased everything around him and made her his world. He had always believed that she will be with him for eternity. This was also a great possibility due to what they are. Alas, life had always been the greatest disappointment of all. In the end, she was no longer with him. She was in a place where he could not reach her by ordinary means.

Deep in his own thought, the Rosenkreuz pure-blood did not notice the human girl looking at him. A similar gesture to that of a child seeking a secret. Of course, nothing could be seen on the blank canvass which was his face. He remained a closed book to any with such scrutinizing eyes. Her request this time was something he is against with. No one should be with him. On the case of Luke, it was an exception. However, he does respect her decision and the will which comes with it. "...I understand." He nodded curtly. If this is her request, then, it will be done by him. His belief of women being strong is yet again proven. They were stubborn and tenacious in what they desire to do. "Do as you wish." He stated with that ever monotone voice of his. It was then a white creature suddenly appeared on Zenith's shoulder.

"Master! Master! Master!" O energetically called to his creator in which, he quickly silenced himself upon noticing the presence of another in the area. Those clear blue eyes looked at Guillory with curiosity and great interest. These past few days, his Master has never associated with anyone except Luke. Other than that, he avoided as much as possible. So, this was indeed an interesting matter to see another person, a woman, and further yet, a human. "What a pretty girl, are you Master's friend?" The white familiar asked with such obvious expectation of a positive answer as his tail wagged behind him.



|“Didn't I tell you? You can meet me inside the memories of a dream."|

Luke's facial expression was filled with such a severity upon hearing the words from Hughes who sat confidently behind his mahogany desk. It was very noticeable since the pure-blood could always be seen with a smile on his face as if nothing could upset him. "What do you think I will do with what you have told me." Luke's tone was very apprehensive, threatening, and yet also yearning for an answer. Similar to his charge, he also had a reason to keep on living in this stagnant world. "Whatever you want to do." Hughes spoke in a matter-of-fact tone. He knew well that this information would bring a seed of doubt and desire within Luke, the person most important to the one, he knows merely as the Queen.

With a swift movement, Luke stood from his seat and turned his back from Hughes. "I'm here for the kid." Hughes released a sigh at such a gesture and shrugged his shoulders with a disappointed look. "Is that really what made you come here?" Luke looked over his shoulder with such dagger-like gaze to Hughes before finally leaving the room with speed. As for Hughes, he had a wicked smile on his face. Now, it seems the cards were in his hands. Things are finally getting interesting and moreover, they were getting more and more suited to his plans.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asuka Fujiwara Character Portrait: Zenith Rosenkreuz Character Portrait: Sora Tsukino Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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#, as written by Ion


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“There is a difference between being alive and living.”



He listened attentively to the things she told him, memorizing not just the content, but the tonality of her voice, the way this things was edged with humor, and that with a bit of melancholy, lingering grief for the events of a year and a half previous. He could understand that—it was just more evidence that the things she cared about were incredibly important to her, as was the case with him. His precious things might be fewer, but he cared for them no less than anyone else did—this, he was learning, because he hadn’t quite understood it about himself, before.

He pressed his lips to her crown when she spoke of her cousin and her uncle—Hayate certainly had not liked him, but Sora understood that. He’d just wanted to protect his cousin, and that, they shared. He’d never met her uncle, but from the way she talked about him, he was someone quite dear. His mind wandered to the people he’d called his friends, and it took only a recognition of the twinging ache in his chest for him to understand that he, too, still grieved, even after all this time. “Kaede’s parents were the first and only friends I ever had, before you,” he said quietly, blinking out at the vista before them without really seeing it. Her solidity, the feeling of having her right there, that close to him, made it easier to talk about, somehow.

“They were humans, but they worked for my family. Geneticists, both of them. I spent a lot of time with them, because my family was very interested in replicating my abilities. But to them, I wasn’t just a project. Yusuke told the worst jokes, and I never understood what he was talking about, really. I think he did it just so Sakura would laugh—she was very serious, otherwise.” Despite the fact that even then, he’d been significantly older than either of them, they had been more his parents than anyone, and they’d taught him, without ever really consciously trying to, about things like acceptance. Being a friend. Caring about someone. The only reason he had the faintest idea what love was was because they loved each other, and he’d been able to see it, even if he couldn’t name it.

“They were killed when the rest of my family was. Kaede was only a baby—I’m lucky that Sachiko knew a few things about kids, otherwise we would have really screwed it up.” His cousin and he hadn’t really been that close before the incident the both survived—it was only afterwards that they’d learned to get along as family. Sachiko and Kaede had taught him what that felt like, though he was far short of a father to the girl. Maybe more like a brother should be. His arms tightened a little around Asuka, and he took a deep breath, breathing her in for a moment while she continued.

It seemed he had upset her without meaning to, and he wasn’t initially sure what to do when she buried her face into his hands, so he gentle stroked backwards with his fingers, tracing the delicate lines of her cheekbones back to her ears and running his fingers through her hair. He gathered it to one side, exposing one side of her throat, where he planted a soft kiss, almost chaste, save for its location. “Now who’s asking for impossible promises?” he asked sadly, leaning forward slightly to press his cheek against hers. He didn’t honestly know what to say about something like that—he didn’t have any more idea how long she’d live than she did. He knew what she was, and he knew that there was nobody else like her—in more than one sense of the phrase.

So without any idea of what should be said, he simply said what he could—and that was what he truly thought. “I’ll always love you,” he said, with the simplicity of utter certainty. If there was on thing he really understood about himself, it was that once he had decided on something, he didn’t rescind his choices. He wasn’t sure if he’d chosen to love her or if it had simply happened, but he was choosing to accept it, come what may. “As for how long we’ll have together…” he paused, adjusting his arms so that they wound around her waist and he rested his forehead on her shoulder. It hurt him to imagine her dying, but he was not one to hide from the reality of a situation.

“No one can ever know how long that will be. And your lifespan isn’t the only reason for that. I could die someday; I have enemies that would not mourn me. Anything can happen. Maybe your lifespan will limit us, maybe it won’t. But there’s no point in tainting what we do have with what we might not. Just…” He sighed gustily, his breath fanning over her shoulder and down her back. “Please don't talk to me about you dying. I’m not sure I can handle it right now.” He wasn’t sure he’d ever be able to handle it, and anyway, there was little point in doing so before it was necessary. He would rather focus on being alive with her.




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“All things in time.”



He wasn’t terribly pleased by her decision, but he was willing to allow her to have it, and Anastasia would take that for what it was worth. In this case, the value had yet to be determined. There was a very real possibility that seeing this curiosity through to any significant measure would damn her to something unanticipated. But… one did not simply sit and allow life to pass by. One had to seek, to endeavor, to learn, and to understand. This was the kind of enterprising spirit she had been coaxed into by her father, and it was the kind that she would always carry, in his memory. There was no going back—she didn’t understand the concept. The only direction to go was forward, and when the path split, she preferred to take the unconventional fork, even if it wasn’t safe. Nothing was gained in indolence, in safety.

“Then I shall,” she said, inclining her head faintly. It was almost a measure of thanks, if one wanted to call it that. She could not tell the future—clairvoyance was not an ability the universe had seen fit to give her. It was for this reason that she must make her own light by which to see the road ahead, and why she’d always done her best to do so. Even small things could make big differences. Ana was small in more than one sense, but it remained to be seen just what she could make of herself. It was something she was interested in finding out, not only with regards to this matter, but in general.

She was a bit taken aback by the sudden appearance of what appeared to be, of all things, a talking white fox. For a moment, she simply blinked, then raised an index finger and pointed it at herself, as if to ask if it was to her the creature referred. But it only could be, as there were no other females in the area that she was aware of. Anastasia’s grin was bright, and had to restrain herself from actually picking up the fox, unsure whether he would appreciate it or not, or indeed if Zenith would have a problem with it. But she did pet him, forgetting her manners for a moment in the presence of something truly adorable and gently stroking the fur atop his head, circling around to get the spot behind his ear.

“As a matter of fact, yes,” she answered him. This must be one of the familiars she’d heard so much about, judging from the fact that he addressed the vampire before her as “Master.” It was about then that she realized that the fox might have an opinion about being petted in such a fashion and abruptly dropped her hand. “Ah, sorry, that may have been rude. My name is Ana, and it’s very nice to meet you, Mr. Familiar. What should I call you?” She glanced between the two of them, unsure which she expected to answer the query.

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Zenith Rosenkreuz Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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|"This will be the end of me.”|




O felt very pleased as the girl petted his head. She seemed uninhibited by touching him and it was a nice thing to say. Her gesture was comfortable and felt so very good. The familiar could not help but leaned to her touch. Moreover, he was rather astonished from the girl's answer about being his Master's friend. This was a first in more ways than one. She would be the first friend of the Rosenkreuz pure-blood ever and the only one who clearly declared it without much of a contradicting statement from his Master. However, his positive inclinations halted when she stopped her gestures. As such, O could not help but released a sound of disappointment. There was also a notable pout and those blue eyes held reluctance of her touch being removed.

In any case, the human girl had identified herself as Ana. She called him Mr. Familiar and asked what he would like to be called. It was then, he remembered that the girl has knowledge about his kind and O brightened more. "Wow! Master's friend!" O's eyes lit up like a gem shining under the sun. There was once more hope for his pure-blood Lord who had designated himself into a path never traveled by anyone. "My name is O, but you can also call me O-chan!" He climbed down from the shoulder to his Master's arm whom raised it to serve as a platform near to his face. "It's nice to meet you Ms. Ana! What a pretty name! It's a pretty name right, Master?" The miniature white fox declared with great vibrancy as he looked at his Master who remained completely detached and void of any sort of expressions. As for Zenith, he looked at his familiar with those impenetrable golden eyes.

Her name as she had told him earlier was Anastasia. She had simply shorten it to Ana. The name means the One who will be Reborn. Interesting, it is. Perhaps, that is why she is rather reckless in how she proceeds with life. Yet, it also mean that she will not have regrets. Hopefully, she will not. So, if she will be reborn. There would be nothing to hold her back for a prosperous beginning. Thus, it fitted her. A person who symbolizes resurrection. "Yes, it is." He stated without any hesitation in his casual tone which revealed nothing. His answer was simply the truth. After stating that, he looked at Guillory who seemed taken by his familiar, judging by her reaction earlier. As such, he directed his arm towards the human girl in which O understood the notion immediately.

The familiar walked along the outstretched arm and climbed to Ana's shoulder. Afterwards, O smiled brightly at the human girl who seemed to have persuaded his Master to have a friend. Lady Amalthea was a sister and something more. Sir Luke was a guardian and mentor. The prefects before the incident were considered acquaintances. Ms. Haruka was the only who O had hoped to break the barrier, but it was not to be. Perhaps, Ms. Ana would be successful in others would not be. He really wished that. "Even Master says so! You're Master's first friend, so please take care of him!" He happily said as he nuzzled Ana's cheek in a very affectionate gesture. Truthfully, he wanted this relationship to be more, to show his Master perhaps another way.

"O, what do you have to tell me." Zenith was quick with the point as he inquired with his usual monotone voice. Hearing his Master's voice, O stopped nuzzling Ana and looked at the pure-blood. He came here to report something. During his Master's school activities, O intervenes on his behalf. Yet, he wondered if it was fine to say it outright with a human present. Well, his Master had asked him without hesitation. So, it should be fine. "Master, there's to be a conference meeting about the Treaty sponsored by the Association. They heavily request your presence being the Ruler of Vampires." So, it was beginning. He would need to ask permission from the Headmaster to leave the Academy temporarily. The pure-blood simply nodded his head as the acknowledgment of the information.

"There's also a letter from Ms. Alice." Hearing the name, there was the very briefest of emotion which flashed across those golden eyes. It was so quick much like a mirage. No one would have seen it if they were not paying attention to his face. "Where." O knew how influential Ms. Alice was to his Master, she was very pivotal. It is why that incident happened and why his Master took it all upon him. "I left it at your chambers, Master." Zenith nodded once more and focused his attention to Guillory. He must excuse himself from the tour. There was a pressing matter for him to attend. "Ms. Guillory, please excuse me. I would have to leave you in the middle of the tour." After saying that, he looked at O and had a thought.

"O, take care of Ms. Guillory. Show her around." O could not refuse any requests of his Master. At the same time, he was fine with showing Ms. Ana around. But, it would be more wonderful if his Master would do that himself. Then again, Ms. Alice right now was everything to his Master, because of Lady Amalthea. "As you will it, Master." Once Zenith heard O's answer, he offered an apologetic nod for leaving her in the middle. He wanted to read that letter as of now, and he does what he wants as what he had declared earlier. "I will leave you in O's hands. Until then, Ms. Guillory." Once that was stated, he waited for her answer before leaving the two behind.

Once Zenith was out of sight, O released a rather disappointed sigh. "I'm sorry, you'll be stuck with me as your guide, Ms. Ana." The familiar started as he looked at Ana with those big blue eyes with sincere feelings. "Ms. Alice is a vital person for Master especially, when she had left for a few months now without a word until now." After explaining that, he took a deep breath and beamed happily. "So, where do you want to go? It's my honor to accompany Master's friend!" Well, he will also welcome any questions as long as it was not too intimate in nature.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asuka Fujiwara Character Portrait: Zenith Rosenkreuz Character Portrait: Sora Tsukino Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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#, as written by Ion


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“I’ve never been one to run away from anything… but it sounds like an awfully good idea, when you say it.”



He remained steady as she shifted, anchoring both of them in the branches. Not that he was afraid of falling—their bodies could handle such things easily if it came to that, and he’d be able to catch her and land on his feet, anyway, but he wanted to spare her unnecessary pain or anxiety wherever he could. Plus, he was kind of enjoying this—feeling like there might as well not be anyone else in the entire world. Being selfish for a little while. His hands moved to circle her back, and he ran his fingers in random, nonsensical patterns over her uniform jacket as he listened to her speak.

He’d never thought that a singular person could be such a complex thing, before. He’d been able to look at people, and to some extent, identify what he needed to know about them, and everything else had seemed like so much unnecessary information, and largely dull as well. But he found himself endlessly fascinated with the variety of tonalities her voice could produce, the sound of her breathing and her blood, the subtle variations in scent produced when she moved. The way she wasn’t like anyone else he’d ever know. All of what would have been superfluous about someone else enthralled him about her. It was more than a little dangerous, if he were being honest, but he’d never shied away from danger as such.

She made the suggestion sound so reasonable, so possible, so… desirable. To just take his family and leave, never to come back? If only, if only. But there were things that were possible and things that were not. This, according to Sachiko, was one of those things that wasn't. “They’d find us, Asuka. Trouble would always find us again. We’re not meant to get through this without fighting for it, for how long, I couldn’t say.” Uncharacteristically, he sighed, trying not to think about it overmuch. If it were just him and no one else, he’d probably be able to disappear. He was largely untraceable, and given his abilities, not even a seer could get a proper read on him. But it wasn’t just him, and it never would be. Once, maybe, it could have been, but no longer. He wouldn’t leave them, and most of all, he wouldn’t leave her. A group of four would always leave traces, and he knew for a fact that someone wanted at least her badly enough to keep looking. Sachiko had told him so.

“One day,” he said, voice firm with resolve. “We will. We’ll leave everything behind, get Sachiko and Kaede to somewhere comfortable, and then keep going, just you and me. Wherever you want, for as long as you want. I promise.” So she didn’t have any future plans? Well, neither did he. It was time to make some, perhaps.




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“You're an enigma, but I'm patient.”



The familiar really was too adorable. Ana knew she could be a bit childish when it came to cute things—she always had been. From the time she was a small girl running around at her father’s heels, she’d been seemingly magnetized to any injured or hungry animal in the area. A strange peripheral consequence of what she was, her father had told her, but he’d not scorned it. Every time she brought something else home, be it a broken-winged bird or a skinny kitten, he’d just inclined his head, but left the care of the creatures to her. They were her burdens of charity, he’d told her, and she’d made a promise in picking them up from the ground where they were dying that she would see them to health and life again.

She’d nursed every last one. Sometimes, they made it. Sometimes, their wounds were simply too grave, and she soothed their last moments as well as she could, and then buried them in the churchyard. She always asked her father to say a blessing, and he always did. She didn’t know what she thought about her father’s religion, but that was okay, because she believed in the other things he taught her, like compassion and mercy and living with as much grace and kindness as possible.

It didn’t really change the fact that she was still a bit childish around animals, though. She shook her head good-naturedly at the comment about her name; it had actually been the only thing of her that her parents had given to her. Other children used to joke about it sometimes—how similar the story was to a princess who’d lived a long time ago, that some said must surely have survived the betrayal of her family. Well, she didn’t think her family had been betrayed, and she was certainly no princess, but all the same, it was her name, and that was all. Her smile brightened when O was transferred to her shoulder, and she laughed at the tickling contact of his soft fur with her skin. He was very sweet, and highly energetic, from the sounds of it. Since he hadn’t expressed any protest of it, she went right back to petting him.

“Of course I will,” she said with a smile. “That’s what friends do, after all.” Of course, as this was a one-way friendship, that was it, but that was also fine. Because, even though Ana wanted friends of her own, she also knew that being a friend was an even more important thing to do. The question still remained as to what extent Zenith would allow her to help him in the first place, but she supposed that was mostly up to him. She would be there, and remind him from time to time, but in the end, as he’d said, he was the kind of person who did what he wanted. Well, so was she, and right now, this was what she wanted.

She fell silent for a bit while the two discussed business, not really all that surprised to learn that Zenith was ruler of vampires. There as something about him that seemed a bit… royal, or at the very least authoritative. Perhaps she should have taken it as odder that such a person should have been convinced to lead a relatively ordinary human around the grounds of his school, but she didn’t, so much. Everyone needed a break, and that included kings perhaps most of all. If that were what her friendship turned out to do, just give him a break from the rest of the world now and then, well… that wouldn’t be such a bad thing at all. She also knew what the Association was, though not by personal acquaintance. It seemed very important matters lay before him, indeed.

What really seemed most to pull him away, though, was the letter he’d received from someone named Alice. It sounded like she was someone important to him—no, actually, she could feel it. That was an interesting bit of information—she had taken it that the person she saw in the flames was not alive now. This person must be different. She was of course curious, but she would not pry, and so she didn’t. Those were things he could tell her in time, if he wanted, or meditate upon in her company, which was really the same thing.

For now, however, it would seem that his break was over. Ana smiled gently and waved a hand in front of her face at the implicit apology. “Oh, it’s not a bother. I understand that there are other things you must do.” She'd be a poor friend if she tried to monopolize his time, after all. “Just… don’t forget that I’m around, and the company of friends is not an imposition for me.” It was her way of inviting him to come talk to her, or just think in her company, if he wanted. “Oh, and… if you think sort of… at me, I suppose you could say, I’ll hear you.” It was kind of hard to explain, but the simple fact was that if he wanted her attention, it was as simple as thinking that he wanted it. She’d ‘hear,’ even over quite a distance. “I hope you have a pleasant day, Zen.” She smiled and gave a little wave as he left. It might be pointless at this stage to wish him a pleasant day, because she was under the impression that he might have forgotten how to have one, but many things worth doing started small. She was also fully intending on continuing the friend’s right to nickname. It fit so well—Zen was an excellent word for that sort of enforced calm he projected on the world.

For now, she turned back to O and scratched beneath his chin with a finger. “Not at all, O-chan!” she said brightly. “How about you and I become friends, too? We'll let Zen do what he needs to do, and we’ll be here when he’s done. In the meantime, I think it’s time I toured the places to eat around here… I’m kind of hungry.”

Setting

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Zenith Rosenkreuz Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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|“If that is so, I never wore a mask. In that case, I always wear one."|




O smiled brightly at Ana. He leaned to her touch. It was nice and comforting. A gesture which he had been reminded of a past so distant. At the same time, it was an action that his Master nowadays rarely does. Well, it cannot be blamed. Many things had changed. In any case, it would not be bad to be friends with her, right? Perhaps, this time it would be different. "I would be very happy to be your friend!" O declared with a bright smile on his furry face. He truly wishes that nothing terrible happens to this human girl who had decided to reach for his Master who would always continue to be the Darkness for it is a path that his Master has stubbornly chose.

"I'll show you the cafeteria!" O stated happily and with excitement. He was completely satisfied with his position on her shoulder. It was rather interesting to see O completely comfortable. Well, it was not odd since the familiar was someone who is very committed to the idea of his Master to have a friend. Now, this girl, human she may be, she might be able to pierce the black which covers his Master entirely. For now, he would need to lead the way to give Ana some food. "It's this way!" He stated happily as he jumped down from her shoulder and began to lead the way, as they exit the sanctuary which his Master had perceived to be very important.



"Did that letter satisfy you?" Luke noted as he looked at the Rosenkreuz King who was sitting on his bed holding a piece of paper. His face remained a void of any sort of emotions. Those eyes of gold did not show any sort of longing, affection, nor satisfaction. It remained empty much like a mirror reflecting nothing. "Is that from the one I heard about? The one called Alice?" Zenith folded the letter and then stood from his position. He had expected what was written on the letter sent by Alice. It seemed that things would be rather lively in the next few days. However, Alice's appearance around the academy might cause certain discord. Then again, perhaps it would not be so. After all, he had made certain that it would be his sole responsibility.

"Anyway, what happened with the new student?" The query made Zenith recall the troubling request of Guillory. Well, he did agree to it since he had no interest hindering the girl's free will. Luke observed Zenith's actions which warranted nothing of great importance. However, the words which left the white pure-blood's lips did struck a chord on the ever jovial pure-blood of Cross Academy. "Why are you wearing that smile." His voice was without any tone. Those golden eyes gazed at Luke without any hint of emotions. Nevertheless, Luke was well-aware what Zenith was pointing out. His eyes of green held a specific light which seemed to echo limitless regret and sadness.

It was because the smile on his face was never lifted since he began this conversation with Zenith. The kid had certainly picked up a few things along the way. "It seemed that the past is about to come back." His smile remained plastered on his face. The tone he stated those words were filled with such an ominous presence covered in honey. Luke knew that Zenith would not be ignorant of what he was stating. As such, Zenith looked at the letter in his hand which was now burning through the means of blue flames. Soon, it became nothing more but dust in the wind. The establishment of Cross Academy, the notion of being the King of Vampires, having Luke by his side, they were not a simple string of coincidence or the great amount of morality. They were actually less than that... "It begins."

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Character Portrait: Sora Tsukino Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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#, as written by Ion


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The next day found Ana with a free period after lunch, and so she’d taken to wandering the grounds. Aside from Zenith’s sanctuary, there was a large forest off to one end of it, and though she had not yet ventured too far in, she was enjoying a meadow on its periphery—which was to say that she was laying sprawled in the middle of it, arms out to her sides, watching the clouds go by. Since O-chan had showed her yesterday where the cafeteria was, she’d brought most of her food with her, and was idly munching on an apple, humming to herself and trying to decide if that cloud looked more like O-chan or a bunny rabbit. It actually looked a little more like the rabbit, but she wanted it to look like her new friend, and so she told herself that it did.

She was about ready to move on to the next one when a dark shadow fell over her, and she adjusted her eyes until they focused on a face she’d never seen before. The man looked down at her with a flat expression, though there was something in his eyes that made it different from the one Zenith wore. He, too, was quite handsome, and from the fact that she’d caught not even a whisper of his presence, she assumed he must be a vampire also. Odd, that she’d not even sensed his thoughts.

“Shouldn’t you be in class?” he asked her, voice just as flat. Ana blinked—with the way people were around here, you’d think showing your own emotions was a terrible social faux pas. Everyone either his behind smiles or blank expressions. How peculiar. She found that his thoughts were elusive, as well, in a way she’d never encountered before. She had to concentrate for him to even register as present. Maybe it was some kind of ability he had?

She smiled at him regardless, uncaring of the slight awkwardness of being looked at from so far above. “Actually, it’s my free period. Yours too?” She squinted past the brightness of the sun, just able to make out the band around his arm. She’d seen one of those just yesterday… and then it clicked. “You must be Sora! Asuka mentioned you yesterday.” She sat up, sticking out her hand for him to shake.

He looked confused for a few moments, though it was more a slight flicker over his face than any true expression, but e took her hand anyway, his grip a bit gentle, as though he were afraid he might break her arm. Then again, considering what he probably was, he might well do so on accident. “Uh, sure. And you are?” Asuka hadn’t mentioned this person, obviously, and her abundant cheer and seeming disregard for the things about him that usually intimidated other people was throwing him off a bit.

“Ana. It’s nice to meet you, Sora.”

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Character Portrait: Asuka Fujiwara Character Portrait: Sora Tsukino Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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#, as written by Azazel
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Asuka smiled, her hands folded behind her back as she walked the grounds of the Academy. She didn't appear as sickly as she had yesterday, the subtle glow to her hair returning slightly as well as the paleness receding from her skin. She looked more alive than she previously did. Perhaps it was because of yesterday, or perhaps it was something a little different. Whatever the case may have been, there was an extra spring to her step as she patrolled the area. Lunch had just ended, so it was her job to make sure all of the students returned to their respective places. Once everyone was inside, it wasn't long before the next period came, and for some of the students, they had a free period.

She made sure that a majority of the students stayed where they needed to, away from the Night Class and on their part of the Academy. Once that was settled, she took to the grounds once more, humming a soft tune to herself. Snow cried out softly, landing on her shoulder as she rubbed his chest in small circles. He let out a sound, something of a mix of a purr and something of pleasure as she smiled. "You are doing well now Asuka," he stated, opening one blue eye to stare at her. She merely rolled her eyes at his implication, but a small smirk formed on her lips regardless.

"And you still look like crap. I wonder why that is," she jested to her familiar. Snow merely chuckled softly as he shook his head. "It...it feels a bit better though," she stated softly, causing Snow to open both of his eyes in time to see her lay her hand over her heart, a bright smile lingering on her lips. He shook his head once more, his eyes softening a bit. "Don't forget that feeling then, Asuka," he stated, flapping off of her shoulder as she frowned at her familiar. Always so criptic, she mused to herself. She entered a scene soon thereafter and almost laughed. Anastasia seemed to be introducing herself to Sora, who had a confused look upon his face.

"Is Sora-chan bothering you Ana?" Asuka stated, walking so that she stood next to Sora in the process. She glanced between the both of them, her smile widening a bit in the process. She did forget to inform Sora of the new student, and perhaps that was the reason why he was here, to tell her to go onto class, however; she had caught the last of the statement of her being on a free class period.

Sora looked over at Asuka, allowing a slightly affronted expression to cross his face for a moment. It was something that really only showed up around her, this expressive part of himself. He didn’t even mind this human student seeing it—she didn’t seem to be like most of the rest of them, inclined to turn tail and run whenever he showed up, or to squeal after the rest of the Night Class like they had nothing better to do. “I was not,” he protested blandly.

Ana, on the other hand, pushed herself up with her hands so that she was sitting, smiling brightly at the both of them. She could feel how Asuka’s sadness from yesterday had abated somewhat, and she hadn’t missed the brightening of her feelings when she came within sight of this person, the vampire Sora. She was still having a bit of difficulty getting a read on him, but what she did detect pointed to much the same, and the conclusion was obvious. Raising her hands in front of her face, she formed the index finger and thumb of each hand into a square, framing them both with it and beaming.

“You two are just adorable,” she said simply, the smile seeming to split her face. And why should it not? Seeing other people happy was itself a reason for happiness, as far as she was concerned. Whatever else might be true of them, she got the sense that they made each other happy, and thought of one another often. There was something, so deep down in their personalities that she didn’t quite have a name for it, that suited one another, bound them together with a common thread of strength. “And he’s right. Sora wasn’t a bother at all.” She shrugged lightly, dusting a few stray bits of grass from her shoulders.

Asuka gave Sora a bland look before smiling. "Of course not. You don't bother people," she replied with a shrug of her shoulders. Her attention was captured once again by Anastasia, who spoke, causing Asuka to blink somewhat. Adorable? She glanced towards Sora, tilting her head to the side a bit. She pursed her lips together, chewing her lip a bit as she studied Sora. She wouldn't exactly call him adorable, but she wasn't going to say what she thought he was out loud either. Instead, she settled with a smile and laced her arm through his, pulling herself a bit closer to him and grinned at Anastasia.

"You should see him when he smiles," she stated, grinning a bit mischievously at the black-haired pure-blood. "And that's good. Sora doesn't usually bother people. Usually all he does is this," she stated, mustering the best replica of Sora's stare she could and gave it to Anastasia. "That usually has most students running back to their class or dormitory," she replied with a shrug of her shoulders.

Was that supposed to be a replication of his usual expression? If so, she was doing a rather poor job of it, and he blinked down at her, a gesture rather reminiscent of Snow more than anything. He was not at all bothered by the fact that her arm was linked with his, though he might resist the characterization of his person as ‘adorable.’ The adjective fit Asuka very well, though, even if it was a bit too mild.

Anastasia, on the other hand, laughed at the other girl’s stare. “Actually, I think I’ve seen that one. I was laying on the ground minding my own business, and then there it was, that face.” It was actually much more… something than the silly one Asuka was making, but it wasn’t hard to tell what the female prefect was getting at. “I bet it does. Unfortunately for tall dark and grumpy, however, I am not so easily intimidated.” She made a determined face herself, but she couldn’t hold it for long before the smile cracked through, as sunlight through a canopy of trees.

Standing, though, she brushed her uniform off and folded her hands behind her back, rocking back on her heels. “Unfortunately, my free period’s almost over. I hope I’ll see you guys around, though? Maybe you’d like to have lunch with me tomorrow? If you can spare the time, that is.” She wasn’t sure if their prefect duties would allow it. Sora shrugged, glancing down at Asuka. If it was fine with her, it would be fine with him. Actually eating lunch was an acceptable way to watch the other students doing the same, though he did not technically need to eat. He wouldn’t mind here—while Ana had perhaps a little too much energy, he was kind of used to dealing with that. Sachiko was quite bright herself. Perhaps his cousin and his ward would want to come, also.

Asuka snorted at Anastasia's response. She returned Anastasia's gestured smile and blinked somewhat. "Now I think that defines Sora more than adorable would," she stated, chuckling a bit in the process. "Though he isn't as grumpy as he used to be. You should have seen him in the beginning of the year," she stated, shaking her head at the memory. Being the only prefect back then, and their casual encounters had always left her a bit...what was the word? Angry? They butt heads more than rams did during mating season, but even then she had enjoyed their little tussles.

"We always have time to spare. Our jobs have been a little easier than normal recently. I don't know about you, Sora, but I think I can manage a lunch period with you. It would be..." she began, pausing slightly at that. Haruka briefly crossed her mind and she lowered her gaze for a brief second before smiling again. "It would be a good way to finally meet you Ana. I hope we can be friends," she stated the last part a little softer than normal.

Sora nodded his assent. He knew just how hard it was for Asuka to say something like she wanted to be friends with someone. Given all that she’d lost, it wasn’t easy to open back up again, to anyone. He knew that very well indeed. That she wanted to try was a good sign, and… perhaps it would be all right if he tried alongside her. After all, the first time he’d let himself make a friend, it had gone much better than he ever could have expected. “I’ll be there,” he replied at last, and Anastasia smiled at the both of them.

“I hope so, too,” she replied sincerely, inclining her head politely to the both of them. “Until tomorrow, then.” And with that, she headed for her next class, still smiling all the while.

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Zenith Rosenkreuz Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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|“No matter what happens. No matter what occurs. This is mine and mine alone."|




It had been far too long since the last time. This is the thought which a certain guest has upon arriving within the grounds of Cross Academy. "They rebuilt it again, huh... Well, as expected." The way those words were stated had a hint of sarcasm and eccentric annoyance. Well, it could be expected as this person took the effort of destroying it in the past. Of course, another took that role completely. Like that, this guest walked in which some of the remaining prowling students took noticed. It was hard not to do so, after all. This person wore an elaborate outfit very reminiscent of Japanese Gothic Lolita fashion, consisting of a black and red dress. The dress contains many layered ruffles on the skirt and sleeves. Over the shoulders, there is a matching, also multiple layered, ruffled shawl, with a similar piece being worn on the waist over the bottom portion of the dress. The guest also wears long white stockings underneath and red Mary Jane's. The outfit is completed with multiple ribbons for accessories, with one being tied over the hair, and a miniature top hat on the left side of the head.

Other than that, what caught the attention of the students was the long and straight silver white hair of the guest which was without doubt a little girl who was around 11 years old. The only other individual inside the academy with such hair color was the iconic King of the Night Class, Zenith Rosenkreuz. As such, the students could not help but wonder if there was a relation between the two. Furthermore, the girl was also quite cute which strengthens the possible connection. Unknown to them, she indeed have a bond with the illustrious idol of the academy. She even studied here as Alice Rosenkreuz. "London bridge is falling down... falling down..." She began to sing lightly as her gait gained an extra spring to it. That was because, she could see it... What was about to happen... It was very exhilarating in every sense.

Despite having a little girl walking about, no one was brave enough to approach or to ask her purpose of being here. It was all due to the certain aura she exuded as if no one has the right to come near her. This was of course, intentional in every sense. Even with her singing a popular nursery rhyme. However, the way she sang it. As if, there was something ominous and prophetic about the rhyme itself. Her eyes of crimson red much like blood reflected an image of a certain individual. She had finally reached the Main Building itself as she tilted her head and was face to face with a certain orange-haired girl. "London bridge is falling down... my fair lady..." She ended her song with an upbeat tone. This girl was also seen in her sight. Everyone is, no one was exempted. "Hello! Big sister!" She started while placing her hands behind her back and gave a small smile. "Do you know where is Zenith?"



Luke released a rather large yawn. The class was really boring and lunch was not good as well. It was because of the company mainly. His ward was not in the best mood. It was probably from the letter the kid had received from the person named Alice. He really had not met that individual personally, however, he knew much from the reactions of Zenith alone. This Alice was important in a rather foreboding sense. Nevertheless, he gazed at his ward who was much like a diligent student. There was nothing different about the Pure-blood King on the surface. As if, there was nothing wrong with him. Well, it was not the case at all. He had known the Rosenkreuz kid for some time to know something was stirring underneath. "Kid, can I copy your notes, later?" He initiated.

Golden eyes gazed at Luke with its usual empty notion. "No." The answer was short and crisp without any delay. Their fellow classmates were watching the interaction between the two with interest. Actually, this had become somewhat a daily routine in which Luke serves as a comic relief. "Why not?!" Luke complained while looking at Zenith with questioning eyes. Of course, the teacher noticed this and released a small sigh. The white pure-blood ignored Luke and focused his attention to the front once more. This made Luke pout in a very childish manner. From this action, many of the people watching were smiling and even blushing. There was no denying it. Luke was handsome in all standards. "Come on, don't ignore me! Please!" The said pure-blood was now standing in front of Zenith's desk making what most people know as the puppy dog eyes.

Zenith closed his notes and stood from his seat. However, his eyes were not on Luke but on the window beside him. A familiar essence, a familiar scent, it was something he had sensed. He looked at the teacher. "I would ask myself to be excused." The teacher gave his permission and soon the silver pure-blood was out of sight. Luke felt very dejected and ignored at that. This earned a few laughs from his classmates. However, he recovered quickly as he knew that something was up. The kid would never leave unless it was something important. So, he released a sigh and soon was following his ward while leaving another of him inside the room. He came here to ensure the King's safety. It was something he will do even if the past was going to come after him.




Alice looked at the female in front of her. Strictly speaking, she finds the presence of this one very irritating. It was more annoying than that of a certain prefect. Her eyes of ruby did not change its expression. She still has a very cheerful smile. However, one could easily see that there was something else brewing behind it. "You know where he is right? You are the self-proclaimed friend, Anastasia Guillory." She stated with a sweet yet with a subtle hint of malicious inquiry. This woman should simply stay away from Zenith. No one can come close to him. He is hers alone. Around the corner, Zenith was about to approach the location where the two women would be and not far from behind was Luke.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asuka Fujiwara Character Portrait: Zenith Rosenkreuz Character Portrait: Sora Tsukino Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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#, as written by Ion


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“Is it normal, to feel so uneasy like this?”



Lunch with Sora and Asuka was actually a very pleasant affair. The former had brought along his cousin, Sachiko, who was to Anastasia a very interesting person. Sachiko was capable of glimpsing the future, and through her own talent for mind reading, Ana was able to pick up on some of what the girl knew. Honestly, she’d rather not know what was coming, because she wanted to be able to believe in the mysterious and beautiful qualities of life, but all the same… she would admit to a certain level of curiosity about such a talent. Though she was initially reluctant, Sachiko was won over by Ana’s own willingness to talk about her powers, and found it very surprising when the flame-haired female confessed to being able to gain access to Sora’s mind, but only if she concentrated intently.

The best hypothesis for why this worked when he was able to cancel vampiric talent was comparatively simple: Anastasia’s powers were not vampiric in nature, but stemmed from a different source entirely. It was an interesting thought, and somewhere in the discussion the two shared on the theory of such matters, Ana was also able to meet Kaede, a talented but very solemn human girl who was apparently Sora’s ward. They’d assembled a very strange little family, those four, but she could not help but think it delightful. She’d left them a little early to go take a walk maybe, as she had quite a lot of new information to digest. This was a whole new world of experience for her, and she was incredibly happy that she was being exposed to it. The people she was meeting were absolutely fascinating, down to the very last one. All in different ways, of course, but…

Her attention was captured by a little girl—or, more accurately, someone who looked like a little girl. Appearance was no true mark of age around here, after all. She was singing the last part of an English nursery rhyme, though honestly, something about her seemed more suited for Alouette than anything. There was this feeling… she was prevented from fully forming the thought when the girl addressed her, and Ana, short as she was, still had to look down at her to reply properly. She smiled, but it was not the same expression she’d shown Zen, nor Sora and Asuka and the others. It was polite, deferential even, but it did not reach her eyes.

“I do,” she replied, as it was relatively simple to locate someone via their mind when she knew who she was looking for. Btu she was prevented from elaborating when the girl kept speaking, and something at the very pit of her stomach knotted uncomfortably. There was a sense of foreboding about this girl, and she could tell on some kind of visceral, instinctive level, that she was not liked. Well… that happened sometimes, and she would do her best to change it, but. It was quite unusual that her name should be so known.

This must, indeed, be Alice, though… the girl was different from what she’d expected, and yet somehow also the same. It was difficult to explain, and she wouldn’t have been able to put it into proper words if she’d been asked. Still… “I am,” she affirmed with a nod, the expression gentling slightly. Foreboding or not, she wasn’t going to be anything other than nice. It wasn’t in her nature. “And you must be Miss Alice. Pleased to meet you. He’s actually headed this way right now,” she said, tilting her head in the direction of the corner Zenith and Luke were about to turn and clasping her hands behind her back.