Weather Girls

Weather Girls

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Introduction

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I remember that day so clearly.
The rain hadn't stopped for weeks.
Dad was sick, we were all gathered around him as he took his last, shuddering breath.
His chest rose and fell with one last sigh.
I remember running, my feet pounding against the pavement, the rain soaking my clothing.
I looked up at the sky and noticed the clouds had parted.
I followed it.
A little shrine in disrepair. I stepped through the shrine gate and clapped twice.
And the rain stopped.
And time stood still.
And Dad was dead.


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A cry, a wish, a prayer. That was what we all had in common. Something happened that day, that changed us all. We crossed underneath the shrine gate, entering the lands of the Gods, through the boundary line between Heaven and Earth. They say that in the sky lives dragons, they say that the clouds hold palaces where the might live. We could not recall anything so grand but a sensation of falling, leaving the earthly plain and waking up on the ground, on the other side of the shrine gate. Snow, wind, rain, and sunshine. An element at our fingertips and all we had to do to command them was clap our hands together twice.

Gifts from the Gods, their marking emblazoned on our bodies.
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They called us Weather Girls. When the rain had fallen for too long, or the land was too dry; they would call upon us. When they wanted a snow day, or sought out large gusts of wind to sail boats, they would call us. Our purpose was in our duty, our jobs becoming recognized by those up high.

But all magic comes with a price. When there is a universal imbalance, an opposing force will come to balance it once more. Darkness needs light to thrive and this was no exception.

Nothing in this world comes for free.
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Winter Matsuri || 16 || Female || Snow || Kyokou Suiri

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Elise Von Hresvelg || 6 || Female || Rain || Kaguya Shinomiya

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Mercedes Edmund || 17 || Wind || Erina Nakiri

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Serena Luft || 17 || Sunshine || Toudo Kirin

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Carter Grayson || 16 || Sand || Teru Minamoto

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Oliver Ender || 18 || Magma || Dazai

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Ezra Jackson || 17 || Rock || Inosuke Hashibara

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012 || 26 || Steel || Merlin

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009 AKA Janet || 26 || None || Kazuki Ferrari


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The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 2 authors

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Make them hate the fake, that way they won't see the real you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







They were all gathered here now, though they still were far from being anything akin to a team. While Winter may be pretending to be secretive, Elise knew how she worked. She wanted to escape, she didn't want to be here. She may act docile, but she was a snake waiting for her opportunity. Elise didn't think it would be the wisest decision to run off without any money or support, especially with enemies abound all over. Luckily, Vincent already had a contingency plan for the occasion where Winter escapes the house to live on her own. Mercedes and Serenity, while well meaning, were annoying. Honestly, this team was not looking good in the slightest. There was no real synergy or team spirit here, other than Mercedes and Serenity being friends, what really was there to hold them all together?

"Kaze hasn't told me anything, the little bugger." Mercedes shook her head, annoyed that her wind boy wasn't being very helpful. "All he did was train me in combat." Mercedes Edmund was always sporty, partaking in the school's volleyball team with gutso and skill. She was diligent and her muscles were toned yet strong under her clothes. Serenity looked more passive to be sure. "But apparently Hibi's told Siri more about the enemy." Serenity nodded, giving Elise and Winter inviting smiles to try to have them move a little closer so they weren't scattered about Winter's room. Elise was just glad they were not invading her room. "Hibi told me that a disaster is coming, and that we would have to band together to prevent it." The sunshine girl explained, her eyes solemn as she watched both Elise and Winter for their reactions.

So now they knew the four names. Yuuki was the heir of snow, and Ame was the heir of rain, that much she already knew. But with Mercedes and Serenity happily giving them information now she knew that Kaze was the wind boy and Hibi was the sun girl. You would think the heirs for the "weather girls" would be all girls, and that the boys would go with the male version of weather girls, whatever amalgamation they might be. "We could review camera logs or hospital files to see if there were any boys injured in the attack." Elise thought aloud, frowning. "Then we could hunt them down one by one in search of the enemy." Wasn't that the best way to prevent a so-called disaster breathing down their necks?

Now it was time for Winter to delve into an explanation. She spoke about spiritual energy, about the three planes of existence that their spirit energy came from in order to interface with them. "Ame, can you do that?" Ame nodded, smiling. "Of course! Just say Spirit Dress and do a little twirl!" Elise frowned, the black eagle unsure if she wanted to do such a thing in front of everyone. What if it made her horribly scarred face even worse? "Spirit Dress." She muttered, doing an awkward twirl that still looked graceful somehow. A dress blossomed over her body, consisting of a frilly skirt, a white blouse, and a long dark blue scarf that snaked across her body, billowing and long like the trail of the flowing rain. A glowing star was in Elise's hand, and she instinctively knew that it was almost like a ninja star. Mercedes was gazing with surprise at her own dress Kaze gave her, revealing with a mix of white and green tones, including a long sash that were draped around her two arms. A long elegant spear with a pointed tip and a graceful handle found itself a home in Mercedes's hands. Elise glanced curiously at Serenity, wondering what Hibi had in store for the sun girl.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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#, as written by The_Queen
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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| Dear Winter || AJR ||




Winter watched them transform. Had she the energy, she would have done so alongside them. Unfortunately, Winter could barely sit upright without feeling awfully unbalanced. Spirit dress, according to Yuuki, allowed the vessel easy access to their spiritual energy, but it used up a lot of it. Transforming the first time could take a lot out of you. It was why Winter had spent so much time asleep. The longer you spent in your spirit dress form, the more energy you consumed. "Spirit dress!" Serenity yelled, the last to transform. She twirled, bright light blinding them all for a moment. "How do I look?" Serenity asked as the light began to fade. Winter rubbed her eyes, stars still in them. Her dress was blue with gold embellishments and in her hands, a sword that glinted against the light.

Mercedes gave a low, impressed whistle. Serenity blushed, going to Winter's mirror to look at herself. "Wow," she did a twirl, nearly falling over. "Dizzy," it seemed the toll of her first transformation was already weighing heavily on her shoulders. "Sit down, have a drink, it's going to make you feel weak the first itme." Winter indicated to the tray on her bed, which had most of her breakfast and lunch. She had really only eaten bread and cake today, since there was no one telling her to do otherwise. "Thanks," Serenity took one of the pancakes off of the plate and sat down, dipping it into a little cup of syrup. Mercedes took the apple Winter hadn't even noticed was there. It seemed when there was no one forcing fruits and vegetables down your throat, they were invisible.

"I think hacking into a hospital is illegal," Winter murmured, but then again so was kidnapping. Did Elise have any regard for the law? Winter wasn't sure. "Technically, every part of us is illegal." Mercedes said, transforming back to normal and flopping onto one of the bean bag chairs. "I feel like I just ran a mile!" She moaned, no doubt already feeling the weakness. How was Elise faring? Winter didn't know. Without her mask on, Elise seemed almost helpless, trying to make herself as small as possible, as though she could just disappear. "We have no idea who the other three boys are, assuming there are four boys." For all they knew, there could be more girls as well. Although that wouldn't make sense.

Wind, sun, snow, and rain. They were all different forms of weather. Weather Girls. "Has anyone discovered your secret?" Winter asked. She knew that Claude knew Elise's, but what about Vincent and Cynthia? The whole of the Chrysanthemum's knew about Winter's, which would make it hard for them if they were to fight against some unseen threat. Her's was the only physical manifestation that would leave behind evidence. Water could come from anywhere, wind could disappear, sunshine could become cloudy. Ice left a mark, it would slowly melt, but that was about it. Winter gnawed on her lower lip in thought, she really had drawn the shortest straw, hadn't she? Nevermind, it was always like this for her. The others, at least, were allowed to live normal lives. None of them had to play dead.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Make them hate the fake, that way they won't see the real you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Elise felt a bit tired after wearing her spirit dress. It felt like something sapping the energy out of her. Serenity seemed a bit tired as well but Mercedes grinned, strong and confident even with her navel exposed for all to see. They all shared similar colors - having white and blue in their outfits. Elise appreciated her long flowing scarf, she pulled it up over her face to hide the scars that were already covered by extensive plastic surgery. So this was the team? Was this really going to be enough to fight against whatever disaster was supposed to come for them? Four high school girls? Why not give this power to military soldiers, people that were actually trained, physically and mentally, to fight a disaster? She shook her head, hiding in her scarf by wrapping it around her face.

"What are you doing? That's not how you wear a scarf, how are you gonna breathe?" Mercedes yanked the scarf and Elise shivered, wishing she could hide and actually become invisible or something. Without her mask on she felt a lot more vulnerable, but she didn't expect the two visitors here. "Really?" Mercy asked when Serenity sat down and Elise felt feverish, Winter explaining how the Spirit Dress would wear them out. "I feel perfectly fine. Maybe it's because I'm the only one without lasting damage?" The only... did Serenity still have side effects from the bombing? As if in response to Elise's questioning stare the lavenderette smiled, nibbling on a pancake slice. "Yes, every night I have bad headaches and my ears ring. It's nothing major, but I never had them before the attack." Serenity explained. It was her burden, and she had learned to live with it.

Hacking into a hospital's files was definitely illegal, but law was just a term anyways, right? "I-I would rather break the law than die to u-unknown enemies." Elise squeaked, looking down at her feet. It was definitely the lesser of two evils. "V-Vincent can do it, he is good at everything." To be fair, Elise wasn't sure if Vincent was a good hacker, but he never failed her yet so he probably would be good at anything she asked him to do. "The old guy?" Mercedes asked, tilting her head in an attempt to remember. "the nice old guy." Serenity corrected her with a little smile.

Winter wanted to know now if anyone knew that Serenity and Mercedes had their powers. She was also asking Elise as well. "Vincent." He was in charge of Elise's safety, so the black eagle figured it was best for him to know everything regarding this situation. "My dad knows." Mercedes admitted with a frown. "He's a famous army general, General Edmund! He's a war hero from the war of 30xx." That was almost a decade ago, and of the many heroes, General Edmund was one of those who lived to earn his medals. "My siblings might suspect something." Serenity looked almost guilty as she admitted this. "When I first saw the light, I called my sister about it, and she's a bit of a chatterbox, so I'm sure she told the rest of my siblings." Siblings? Just how many knew about Serenity? "She's from a big family." Mercy added helpfully. "Siri has two brothers and two sisters, and she's right in the middle."

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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| Dear Winter || AJR ||




Winter looked between them, it seemed that there were only a handful of people that knew outside of this room. "Let's keep it that way. The less that know, the better." The last thing they needed was the Chrysanthemum busting into their homes and taking them all. Of course, Winter couldn't stop them, but Mercedes and Serenity did not seem to understand the possible consequences of telling people considering how proud they were of it. Winter shook her head and sighed. They all seemed effected by the use of their spirit dress, but Mercedes less so than the others. That was to be expected of course, considering the amount of stamina she had.

"If we're going to be battling against superpowered boys, then we'll need to find out their exact powers and weaknesses." For example, sand, when frozen, became glass-like and would shatter. "But we need to do it legally, or else we might attract the wrong kind of attention." Winter shook her head, she didn't want to alert anyone as to what they were up to. There was a knock on the door, all of them startled enough to return to their normal appearances. "Come in!" A maid had arrived with a snack tray. "The Mistress sent me up with some refreshments," she smiled, setting the tray down in the center of the room before shuffling out and closing the door behind her. Winter waited until she was gone.

"Yuuki said that he might have a method of... fixing my leg." Was it worth it to mention to them? Winter didn't know. At this point, she didn't even know if she wanted her leg healed. She knew, however, that if she tried to leave in this condition, it would be very easy for Elise to sick Vincent on her. "I would need to cross over to the spirit world to have it done." Going past the boundary line, as a human, was risky. Yuuki had told her it was less so as a vassal, but she wasn't sure if she believed him. Should she do it? Winter didn't know. It would require disappearing for several days, but it would give her a plan to disappear once she did resurface.

"We should have weekly, or at least bi-weekly meetings to report any of our findings." Not that Winter would be able to contribute much, with no phone or tablet. Still, she could glean some insight from the news, which no one else her age seemed to watch much these days. "We should find time to train together. If we're going to be a team, then we need to start acting like one." They neededt to meld, to move in sync, become a well-oiled machine that could read one another's minds without ever having to say anything. If they were going to become heroes, then they needed to start thinking like them.

~~~

009 was sitting in her room when a knock came from outside. "Come in," she closed her file folder, looking up as 012 entered. "012, shouldn't you be working?" 009 inquired, rising from her bed. He grinned mischeviously, there was something in his eyes that 009 could tell, was not quite sane. "Subject X is still alive," she shook her head. "We were right there 012, she was shot six times. There's no way-" he raised a hand, 009 falling silent. "Winter is still alive, I know she is," he took a step closer, handing her a stack of photos, snapshots. "Where did you get these?" She asked, falling silent. "We both know you don't want Winter to return to the hands of the Chrysanthemum. Let's face it, they failed her and you." He strode forward, "tonight, we will both hand in our resignation. What we're about to do is very, very illegal."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Make them hate the fake, that way they won't see the real you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







While saving the world was all and dandy, Elise didn't see why she owed it to the Chrysanthemum to lend them her aid. While she would fight against the Slithers if they threatened her front door, there was no reward in protecting an entity that wanted to capture and experiment on you. The Chrysanthemum, in the black eagle's eyes, was just as evil as those who slither in the dark. Winter had an illogical loyalty to them even now, a few days later. It was quite insufferable, if she must be honest. Mercedes and Serenity both seemed willing to fight, but they lacked insight and caution. They brazenly abducted Winter without thinking of the consequences. As much as Elise may hate to admit it, Winter herself was probably the best person to try and lead them.

What strengths and weaknesses did they have? Who even were the enemy? There were plenty of things that they were going to have to consider moving forward. "Winter can fight the sand boy if there is one." Elise murmured under her breath, changing back into her normal outfit to try and preserve her energy. "I think I may be good against Oliver..." Rain would beat fire, right? With any luck fire would be all he had at his fingertips. "Sounds good." Mercedes nodded, grinning. "Then Mercy and I will go investigate, since we're the most free." Elise raised an eyebrow from her corner of the room after the maid brought refreshments. "Winter's supposed to be dead, and Elise, you're a little famous, you would attract too much attention." Serenity explained on Mercedes's behalf. "Any info we get, we'll come right back."

Apparently Yuuki could fix her leg. It would be convenient if that were the case. "If that happens, Claude and I were discussing... um.. we may have a way... to let you outside." She briefly explained the plan to make Winter Vincent's granddaughter. "He has a son who loves outside the Chrysanthemum... m-maybe you could pose as his son's daughter who wanted to learn under her grandfather?" And with a new identity Winter would be free to do music again. All she would need is new hair and eye colors to help hide her identity. "We'll meet here every Saturday afternoon, does that work?" Mercedes stood up, grinning, finishing her tea. "Siri and I gotta go, but I'm glad we're finally working together!"

As they left Elise felt very tired, her limbs slow, her movements sluggish. She stood, grimacing. "Winter, if we're supposed to be a team, I do hope you don't intend on doing anything rude." She was fine with Winter taking the lead, but it was time to delve into her suspicions. She felt a bit more comfortable once the loud Mercedes and the sunny Serenity were gone. "It would benefit both of us if you didn't try to escape. You'll find we're far more hospitable guests than the Slithers or the Chrysanthemum would ever be." Vincent and Cynthia would be sad, since they've both grown to like Winter and were used to having her around. Before Elise could leave Winter's room she fell asleep, her spirit energy having sapped her stamina.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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#, as written by The_Queen
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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| Dear Winter || AJR ||




Elise had fallen asleep mid-sentence. Winter reached out to catch her, but ended up trapped beneath her. "H-help!" She wasn't that much bigger than Winter, but Winter was exhausted and the effort it would take to move Elise was enormous. "V-Vincent!" She squeaked, feeling as though she could barely breathe, the heat from Elise's body stifling. A soft knock came from the door a few minutes laying there, while Winter was contemplating how she was going to get out. "Come in!" Claude entered, looking at the situation quizically. "She fell asleep, I tried to catch her." Claude lifted Elise off of Winter, helping her up and handing her, her cane. "Thank you Claude, you've saved me from a horrible fate."

He laughed, "you have such an odd way of speaking." Winter wondered what that meant, "how was my funeral?" She asked, picking up a chip from the bowl that the maid had brought before. "Exactly what you would expect. Tears, people pretending they were your best friend. Timothy played piano in your honor, although I have a feeling his tears may have been real." Timothy crying over her? How odd. "What's wrong? You seem a bit down." Claude mentioned, placing Elise on a bean bag for the time being. Winter shook her head, thinking about it. "You know, you don't have to keep it all balled up inside of you. Sometimes talking about things helps." Claude took something out of his pocket, her gloves. They were a bit dirty, but they were here. "Thank you," Winter took them, holding them close.

"I am tired of everyone thinking that I am some brainwashed victim." She admitted, "everything I've done was willing. I was under the Chrysanthemum's care willingly." Her powers had gotten out of control not once, but twice. What if she had hurt someone? What if she hurt someone now? "Winter, you are a victim. What the Chrysanthemum was doing to you was a grossly illegal. You're a minor, anything you signed isn't legally binding." Winter shook her head, "I was there willingly. I never tried to run away, I was being cared for." She had tried to tell them, multiple times, but instead, she had been kidnapped and was now being forced to live as though she was dead.

Claude strode over, standing at an arm's length away. "I'm not a victim Claude, I didn't need nor want yours or Elise's help." He pried her hands away from her arms, which had been digging her nails into her skin. "Winter, you need real help." He said softly, "you still think it's your fault, don't you? That they only had you because of something you did." Winter shook her head. No, it wasn't like that. It was her fault, "I could have hurt someone. I caused two blizzards-" her knees were shaking, she would have fallen if he hadn't caught her. "Winter, your circumstances are not by your hand. You are a victim and running away from the people trying to help you and back into their hands isn't going to solve anything." He had seen through her, hadn't he?

"I'm not running away, I have nowhere to go." Winter said softly, the two of them simply sitting on the floor, Winter in Claude's lap. "Elise and I have a plan to get you back into the real world-" Winter shook her head. "I don't want to pose as some servant-in-training. That's just asking to be bullied," Winter would not mind pretending to be Vincent's estranged-granddaughter, but she was just a child. No one would believe that she had left home to train to be a servant, especially not someone with a promising music career. She fully intended to reenter the competitive world, once she could escape this place. "Okay, then you come up with your identity and when you do, tell us and we'll help you. We just want to help you." Claude released her from his grasp at last, Winter rising unsteadily.

"Just go," it felt like she was speaking, but no one was listening. It was as though her words were just being echoed around the room. "Winter, you can't push away everyone that tries to reach out-" oh really? She had been doing a pretty good job so far. "You're not helping Claude, just go." She wasn't a victim, she wasn't brainwashed. She would show them, she wasn't sure how, but she would.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Make them hate the fake, that way they won't see the real you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







School was, unfortunately, very much a sad venture. As always, it was both annoying and a huge waste of time. The worst part was how Mercedes kept winking at her as they passed through the halls. Elise didn't want to deal with that. Morning didn't give her any reprieve either, as she was forced by Ame to continue training out in the rear garden. Was there no mercy for poor Lissie? "Are you ready, Elise?" Claude asked, grinning at her as the siblings returned home and was greeted by Cynthia's sunny smile that only half of the siblings reciprocated. "I still don't think it's going to work. Winter wouldn't swallow truth, even if it was the only water available and she was in a desert." She of course had her arrogant mask back on. It's easy to do so when you have time to prepare.

Against Elise and Winter's will, they were gathered in the studio room on the second floor. Claude and Vincent had concocted up some horrible plan to try to re-educate Winter on some of the horrible things that the Chrysanthemum was responsible for. "Now begins the first session of the Chrysanthemum Exposed Project!" Claude began as he walked on stage, a screen behind him ready with the video reels that he and Gordon had prepared. Elise was forced to get on stage as well, she too, had a part Claude wrote for her to play. "Welcome, welcome, our lovely audience of one. Shall we begin?" Vincent was standing guard to make sure none of the other staff could overhear. Thankfully the studio room was built with sound proofing so no one who wasn't inside would be able to hear anything that was going on.

Eight years ago, during the Great War, the Chrysanthemum was knee deep in the conflict, fighting for their lives. The clip showed scenes of Chrysanthemum soldiers fending off enemy armies, shots as their fighter jets bombed enemy farms and hospitals, of the innocent civilians being kidnapped from the enemy state and taken to the Chrysanthemum for "re-education." "Naturally, we won the war, as we all know." Claude said with a charming smile. "But what became of the civilians of the enemy, people whose only crimes was to be born in the wrong city?" Photos released in the media came out then, of the children being put into labor camps, worked to the bone and trained to forget their heritage and home. "We were instructed to not let them escape." Elise read, her knees shaking, her hands gripping a fake rifle.

"Some of them were just kids!" She recited from an interview of a former guard of the reeducation camp. "If they asked for their parents, whip them. If they spoke in their home language, starve them. There were very specific protocols as to what to do and what not to do." A fake tear went down her face, copying the screen's replay of the interview. "We were not allowed to be kind. We were not allowed to call them by their real names. The Chrysanthemum gave them assigned names from an approved list." They were stripped away of everything that made them free.

Then the screen went to another scene. Elise sighed as she was forced to wrap a white coat around her, almost as if she were a scientist. "So, doc, what's the plan with that girl? We can't synthesize her powers, and we can't forcibly control them either." Elise, as doc, nodded, a hand on her chin. "Luckily for us, we still have avenues we can take. Subject X is a very valuable subject. In order to get results to satisfy our superiors, I propose a plan." She nodded, a slight smile on her face. "We can simply gain her trust. We provide her sympathetic kind hearted agents such as 009 to be her guardian, we allow her to partake in music competitions, we show her how kind we can be. We show her she has no other choice but to trust us and be safe with us."

"A superpowered girl like her, loyal to us... if anyone were to try to rise up and challenge our authority, the blizzards will be ours to command." Elise tapped an invisible pen, pushing the invisible glasses farther up her face, just like the Doc did on the screen. "She'll volunteer to help us, as thanks for all of our care. So we must earn her loyalty. Let's start by making more research into fixing that leg of hers." Claude raised his hand, a questionable look on his face. "But what about the activists? People are planning a march to protest our treatment of the Agarthan Internment Camp!"

Elise blinked, then nodded, balling her hand into a fist. "Well, on that day, if we agitate her, we can create a blizzard and our enforcers can eliminate the activists when no one can see through the snow."

The reel ended then and Vincent clapped for their performance. "And so ends the first day of Winter's enlightenment. Thank you, thank you, everyone!" Claude helped Elise off the stage then, who scowled. "Why did we have to act it out? It was already all on tape anyways!" Claude sighed, shaking his head. "We weren't able to recreate the audio, it's all corrupted. All we have are the transcriptions of the audio that I gave you." Even so, the black eagle didn't understand why this was necessary. "It's not as if Winter will listen. She'll ignore anything that doesn't fit her worldview of the Chrysanthemum as wonderful angels."

Claude shook his head. "No, I think Winter's plenty smart. It's hard to undo brainwashing, but this will get her to start thinking. She'll start wondering, and then she'll come to the truth on her own." Elise still didn't like any of this. Winter was a big liability. Considering her loyalty to the Chrysanthemum, who's to say that once she escapes, she doesn't tell Doc everything she knows about Elise, about Mercedes and Serenity too? For her own sake, she knew that her secret command to Vincent was necessary.

Containing Winter Matsuri is priority number one above all else. Even should Elise herself be in danger, Vincent's job is to make sure Winter does not escape the Hresvelg Estate.

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Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| Dear Winter || AJR ||




She spent another night training in secret, this time, returning before the sun rose. She limped into her bedroom, falling to sleep quickly and not waking up until noon. The fatigue was better today, but she was still tired. She picked at her lunch, eating mostly the bread and cake again. "Protein will help," Yuuki appeared, eating his own lunch. "There's no one forcing me to eat it, so I won't." She prodded the chicken with her fork, not exactly hungry. "You're gonna turn into bones soon, if you don't eat." Yuuki poked her side, Winter glowered. This was her way of protesting, it was the only semblence of control that she had. "I don't want to eat it, so I won't." Most of her food went untouched, except the sweets, since it was the only thing Winter was ever in the mood for. "Have you thought more about my offer?" Yuuki inquired, floating around her.

"I don't know. Going to the spirit world... it's dangerous," she had heard plenty of stories about it and had seen the boundary line with her own eyes. "You'll be fine cause I'll be there and if anyone tries to hurt you, well, they'll think twice once they realize you're my vassal." Yuuki hugged her from behind, she was his property, essentially. Marked by an Heir, it reminded her of the old stories, where they supposedly walked the lands. "How do I do it?" She asked softly, uncertain. "Well, first, you'll leave your body behind." He pointed to the bed, "no one can move you though, or you might not be able to find your way back." Winter rose, she wasn't sure yet if she was going to go through with it, it was risky. "Why do you only watch the news? It's like you're an old woman or something." Winter glowered, the television a soft drone in her ears.

"It's the only way I can gather information." Most people wouldn't bother with watching the news these days, but Winter knew it was the only way she would know what was happening around the Chrysanthemum, considering her isolation. She was trapped, a bird in a very beautiful cage, but a cage nonetheless. Her stomach squelched with uncertainty. A knock at the door drew Winter out of her thoughts. "Ms. Winter?" Vincent smiled, his expression unreadable, as always. "Claude and Elise would like for you to join them in the theater." Why? Winter wasn't sure. "Alright," it's not as though she had anything else to do. She rose, Vincent's steps fast, much too fast for her to keep up with. He turned around, seeming to realize that Winter did not go at his pace and slowed to a tolerable speed.

She sat down in the first row, wondering what this was about. An entire presentation had been prepared, but for what? Did they intend to catch her up on what she was missing in school? "Chrysanthemum Exposed Project?" She echoed, leaning her cheek against her fist and her arm against the arm rest. She watched, rather unamused, and most certainly bored as Elise was forced to act out the Chrysanthemum's war with its neighboring city. War was always a terrible thing, governments did horrible things, the Chrysanthemum included. Winter had learned all of this in her history class, so why did they feel the need to act it out on stage? "What is the point of all of this?" She inquired, yawning.

Claude made a motion for Winter to just wait. She watched, tired, wondering if it would be rude to take a nap. Elise moved on to her next roll, Winter continuing to watch and glancing at her imaginary watch. She crossed her legs at her ankles, Elise acting out Doc's words as his image rolled onto the screen. Something about it made Winter pause. She seemed frozen in her seat, watching, her eyes taking everything in. When it ended, she rose quickly. "I have to go," there was no where Winter had to go, but she couldn't sit here any longer. It was eerie, something about the performance not sitting right in Winter's mind. She needed to leave, to go on a walk, but there was nowhere for her to go. She could walk around the halls and risk running into someone, but that wouldn't do.

Winter headed outside, the cool spring air hitting her face. It would be summer soon, school would be out. Where was Winter going? She didn't know. She stumbled on her way down the hill, rolling, tumbling, to the bottom, her cane left somewhere at the top. The blizzard.

They had waited to tell her about her Grandparents death.

They knew it would cause the blizzard.

They knew the world would be focused on a blizzard in the middle of the summer and not on the riots.

She felt dirty, she felt used.

Was it the truth? Winter didn't know. She didn't know what was real anymore.

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❝Make them hate the fake, that way they won't see the real you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







While Claude and Elise were bickering as it all ended, Winter made her exit quickly. Elise didn't particularly see the sense in it though. "Vincent, go after her, ensure she doesn't run off." Would Winter really be the type to go and demand answers? Hopefully she wouldn't be that daft. "Liss, she doesn't look okay. Her face was like ash." Claude's voice was slow as he frowned. "Did we go on a little too strong? I thought this would be good for her though." He crossed his arms in thought, then scratched at his brow. "Maybe we should've gone a little easier on her, that might've been too sudden." Elise was already scowling, impatiently making her way towards the exit. "I am returning to my room." She had enough social interaction for one day. Acting as a soldier or the Doc was a bit too much for her.

"I think you should go after her, Lissie." Claude said, gesturing with his arm, much tot he black eagle's dismay. Her eyes narrowed greatly and she let out a great sigh. "What am I to be, a pack mule? I have assigned Vincent to the task." Old Vincent could do anything, even taking care of emotionally scarred superpowered girls. He was quite the dreamboat and Elise relied on him perhaps far too much. "You have, uh, a similarity with her that Vincent doesn't." Claude seemed a bit awkward as she glared at him. "No, not that you're girls! I meant you both have strange powers. There has to be some common ground, right? Try to cheer her up, it's important that you do this." He wasn't going to let her rest, was he? Elise stepped out and found Vincent waiting dutifully for her. "Let us go, Milady, we have a Miss Winter to find."

It wasn't really all that hard considering the trail of cold air leading outside. It was faint but Elise, who was attuned to the rain and water, was able to pick up on it. She walked, arm back in her cast, and Vincent followed after her, a true servant. Her new cane was atop the hill, abandoned. Predictably, clumsy Winter was at the base. They were lucky this was the rear side of the Estate, there was no risk of paparazzi cameras filming them. "Vincent, take the cane. We must go down to her." Vincent nodded, retrieving the cane, holding it with care in his old hands. "As you wish, Milady."

"I did tell him this was a bad idea. A person such as you is ill-equipped to hear the truth." Elise sighed, kneeling next to Winter. Vincent offered her his hand, and in his other hand, the cane. "But Claude does as he pleases, no matter how inane. So do you. What are you going to do?" She sighed, not wanting to entertain a pity party. "Let us watch a movie. Have you seen Lambert and the Maiden of Snow? It's a remake of the old legend of King Lambert's tales, and the Square Table." Elise wasn't in it, but she loved fantasy romances that were simply and easy. There wasn't anything complicated to think about and you could immerse yourself in the heroics of knights and kings and princesses. It was a great way to distract yourself.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| Dear Winter || AJR ||




Her life was a mess, one big mess and Winter couldn't see any way out of it. What was she going to do? Winter didn't know. She had nowhere to go, she had nothing, no one. It felt as though she was 12 all over again, just waking up after causing a blizzard and having no idea what had happened, or why she was alive. "They would be so disappointed in me." Winter's Grandparents were probably looking down on her in shame. They had taught her better than this, than to lay in the grass, then to let people push her around. So why was she continuing to do things that she knew they wouldn't want her to? Winter didn't know. "I'm sorry Grandma, Grandpa. I'm sorry I can't do any better." She whispered, it felt as though there was a lump sitting in her throat.

She could hear the crunching of the trail of ice she left behind her. Winter wiped her tears away quickly, not wanting to appear weak. She remained laying down in the grass, trying to act casual despite the obvious grass stains on Elise's old clothes. "It seems I've been found," she had not been making an attempt to escape, not when there was no point in leaving. Was she brainwashed? Winter still couldn't answer that question, but her head was certainly more muddled than before. What if this was Claude's way of brainwashing her? Elise had arrived with Vincent. Did she think that Winter was goign to put up a fight? Ill-equipped to hear the truth? That seemed rather one sided. "No, I have no idea." Winter had thoughts though, plenty of them.

"I've never seen a movie..." she trailed off, her Grandparents had never taken her to see one, since their little town had not had a theater and when she had moved to the Chrysanthemum, her friends never wanted to see what was playing. Winter was raised on old soap-operas and the news, which probably explained why she seemed so out of place among others her age. She took her cane from Vincent, taking the offered hand and rising to her feet. She dusted herself off as best as she could, but the green stains would have to wait. "I suppose now would be as good a time as ever." Why was Elise being nice to her? Winter didn't know. Elise had made it very clear that she did not like Winter, so what had changed? Was it pity?

Pity for the orphan girl whose fragile concept of her reality was continously being shattered? Winter followed her, unknowing as to what else to do. She was silent for a while, then, "I'm thinking of going to the spirit world." Vincent knew already, so there was no point in waiting to speak of this, besides, there were many things that concerned Winter, she needed to at least speak her thoughts aloud. "But there's no garauntee that I will come back," she could get lost, or worst. "Especially if my physical body is moved while I'm there." She did not know how long it would take, days maybe. Did time move differently in the spirit world? Winter would have to ask Yuuki that.

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Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Make them hate the fake, that way they won't see the real you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Winter had no idea what to do next. She looked horrible despite her attempts to regain her composure. Elise wasn't an idiot, she was good at seeing through masks people tried to wear. She was an expert at it herself after all, capable of becoming a multitude of characters if she wished. She still had Winter to thank for inspiring her arrogant mask, her current favorite. "I'll tell Claude not to do more exposing videos. It's a pain to act out terrible people." Acting was more fun when it was all fictional. It put a bad taste in her mouth to pose as the soldier or as the Doc. Vincent offered Winter help getting up because they would obviously have to return inside the Estate if they wanted to enjoy the film. "I may be biased, but I do like movies and theater." As an actress, that was probably a requirement.

As they walked Winter expressed that she was thinking about going into the spirit world. This was probably something to do with her leg, because so far human method weren't able to help Winter walk without cutting the leg off and giving her a biomechanical prosthetic. The Chrysanthemum could have easily done that, using biomechanics to fuse an identical leg to her nervous system and attach it, but they were likely afraid of Winter's powers becoming unstable as a result of the experimental technology. "I will go with you." Elise decided, curious about what may be waiting in the spirit world. "We need information... and I need a break from going to school." She was so tired of having to go outside all the time, and well, it was probably safer to explore the spirit realm as two rather than one.

As the movie ended and the lights turned on in the theater room Elise was still in tears. For being a girl with muted emotions in general, fiction was always a way to drag emotions out of her. Lambert and the Maiden of Wind ended as a heroic tragedy. "The way King Lambert s-s-sacrificed himself to save Esme, even though she was pregnant with a different man's child..." He gave his life and because of it, the Kingdom was brought to an age of peace and prosperity, the evil finally over. "Milady, it is nice to see you like this." Vincent always smiled when she let her emotions out, clearly not wanting her to bury herself in masks. "I cannot help it, Vincent! This story was too much for me!"

She gazed curiously at Winter, narrowing her eyes, rubbing at them delicately with a handkerchief with elegant motions. "What did you think? I did not expect it to be a tragedy." It was Winter's first cinema experience and Elise would prefer if her favorite hobby wasn't insulted or spoken badly about. "Would you rather something more light hearted? We have plenty of those as well." She reached for the holo screen, scrolling through movies to rent through WebFlix. What would Winter be interested in?

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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| Dear Winter || AJR ||




Winter shook her head, "It doesn't matter. You said so yourself, once he gets an idea in his head, he will go through with it no matter what." Which would mean that Winter was going to have to sit through another one of those horrible theater sessions. What else was he going to do? Show the tapes of what Winter had already gone through? She knew what had been done to her, she knew exactly what she had to live through, so what would be the point in repeating all of it? Winter didn't know. "Your acting was what really sold it." Winter rolled her eyes, wondering what had been going through Elise's head when she had agreed to do that little play with Claude. Well, at least it was over. Winter would have to construct an excuse to get out of of it again next time Claude tried to drag her to it.

"Come with me?" Winter blinked, she had not considered someone going with her. In truth, the thought of it made her a pinch less nervous. "Are you sure you want to do that? It could be dangerous," she did not want to put Elise in danger, not for Elise's sake, of course, but for Cynthia's. Winter was... enthralled with Cynthia to say the least, having never had a mother of her own, Cynthia's doting was as close as Winter had ever gotten. She thought, sometimes, that Elise and Claude seemed rather unappreciative of the woman and the more time Winter spent with her, the more she enjoyed her company. At first, it had been awkward, but now, Winter felt warm whenever Cynthia would hug her. "I'll try and gather as much information as I can."

They sat in Elise's room, a large screen coming down from the ceiling. Someone brought them popcorn and Winter sat quietly, munching, watching, uncertain what the plot of the movie even was until it ended. Elise was in tears, it seemed that she rather liked this movie. "It was good," Winter decided, tossing another piece of popcorn into her mouth. It was getting late, Winter hadn't even noticed that Vincent was still there. Was he always on the clock? She wondered. "I thought you've seen this movie before?" There was a light knocking on the door, "Girls, it's dinner time." Cynthia smiled, had she come all the way up here just to tell them that? "It would be rude not to attend," Winter rose, dusting herself off as best as she could.

"Are you going to join us? Or will you eat in your room again?" Winter held out a hand, offering Elise a hand up if she wanted to. Of course, it might not be the best idea to take it considering Winter's balance issues. "We can watch another movie tomorrow," or whenever they came back from the spirit world, since Winter was thinking of going sometime tomorrow. Maybe she should wait for the weekend? She wasn't sure, but she would rather do it sooner rather than later. If they were going to face off against an enemy soon, then Winter needed to be prepared.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Make them hate the fake, that way they won't see the real you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Claude always was a bit of a problem. He was both clever and stubborn, he had a knack of not giving up until he tried every possible way to get what he wanted. And because of his quick wit and his guile, coming up with plans was second nature for the schemer. He wasn't a bad person or anything, but Elise had learned that it was easier and less of a hassle to just go along with what he wanted rather than try to fight it. He would keep trying until you put in more effort trying to say no than you did just doing the thing in the first place. "Maybe if we escape to the spirit world we won't have to deal with the next expose." The idea sounded nice. Retreating to the spirit world to escape social interaction as well as find out more about their powers? That sounded good to Elise.

The movie was quite good. "I did see the older movie but the way they focused on Lambert and Esme's relationship made the final scene a lot stronger this time." Last time they focused more on Lambert and his Square Table Knights, fighting for king and land. Before Elise could hunt for a more comedic story while scrolling through WebFlix Cynthia came to announce that it was dinner time. Winter wanted to go but Elise felt tired after doing so much social interaction. She wasn't a natural at this, even with a mask on there was a limit to what the recluse could do. She used to be an actress, a flower that bloomed in front of others. Now she was anything but. She couldn't be beautiful anymore, all she had was this gross fake plastic mold that looked like a mask.

She wanted to just eat in her room. But Cynthia's expectant smile only made her stomach shrivel up inside of her. Her own mother, Mirabelle, wanted her to get along better with Cynthia, and the woman had only ever been kind and gentle with her. "Fine." Elise murmured, sliding her arm back into the cast. "Vincent, has it been cleaned?" Vinent nodded dutifully. "Yes, Milady, your cast is perfect and hygienic." She didn't want to wear smelly sweat-infused casts after all. "Then let us go eat, then I will want my alone time." Her batteries were already in emergency mode, how much more did they want from her?

Cynthia was beaming as for the second time ever, a full house was gathered at the dinner table. Claude was briefly surprised but decided not to comment on Elise's attendance. "This smells good, mother! What's on the menu?" As the servants lifted the trays a whole slew of gourmet food unveiled themselves. You could call out to any selection you pleased and the servants would put them on your plate. "I hope you have learned table etiquette by now, Winter." Elise looked at her critically, wondering if she learned the rules of soup spoons and meat forks. "Oh, don't worry about that, just eat whatever way makes you happiest, dear." Cynthia was definitely overjoyed.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| Dear Winter || AJR ||




Winter rolled her eyes at Elise's cryticism. "I'm not a heathen Elise, I know how to use utensils." You ate food using the utensils from the outside in. First, were tiny loaves of brea.d Winter saved mkost of her's, dipping it into the soup that the servants brought out. It was probably the first proper meal she had eaten all day. Next was the main course, silver covers lifted to reveal an entire feast. Why had Cynthia made so much? Winter didn't know. Did she expect to feed an army? Perhaps the staff would eat once they were done? Winter hoped so, she didn't want to see all of this go to waste. Elise seemed drained, but Winter noticed that she was sitting a smidgen closer to them then yesterday. Claude seemed excited about something, but Winter didn't think to ask.

Winter ate slowly, there were several different meats on her plate, ones that she didn't even know existed. She didn't have any vegetables again, since there was no one bossing her around on what to eat. Her stomach was brimming to full by the time dessert was brought out, little cakes glazed with pink icing, filled with some sort of mousse. "So much," she could barely take two bites, but ate the mousse on the inside to be polite. "Everything was delicious Cynthia," Winter smiled, "I'm very tired, so I'm going to head to bed now." She rose, "Thank you for dinner." She did not make eye contact with anyone else, heading right upstairs to wash off the dirt from her face and place her dress in the laundry. Yuuki appeared as soon as she closed the door behind her.

"No training tonight," he decided, looking at her. "Why? I need to train if I'm going to get stronger." Her hands trembled, "because you need to rest if you want to get stronger." Winter turned towards him, uncertain if he was up to something. "Then we need to talk, I need to know more about the spirit world. Elise wants to come with me," was it a good idea? Winter wasn't sure. "It's up to Ame if Elise will be able to cross over, I can only guide one person at a time." He drifted around the room while Winter changed into pajamas, her precious gloves having been cleaned. She placed them on her hands, the weight familiar. "They won't stay perfect forever," Yuuki yawned as Winter crawled into bed.

"No, they will. They have to," she said, if only for her own sake. Yuuki disappeared, but it felt like sleep never came. She was having trouble again, shifting between the sheets, waiting, hoping, for sleep to overtake her, but without the exhaustion of training, she lay awake, gazing at the canopy. Eventually, Winter had enough of waiting and sneaked out the window, if Yuuki wouldn't help her then she would train on her own. She approached the lake cautiously, which had been unfrozen, thawing during the daytime. "Sorry fish, this is a necessary sacrifice." Did going in and out of hibernation hurt them? Winter wasn't sure.

"I'm going to get stronger on my own if he won't help-" pain exploded in her temples. Winter fell to her knees, panting, her vision blurry. She stifled another whimper, pain exploding once more in her ribs. Was this why Yuuki had wantde her to rest? Winter wasn't sure. Hands suddenly grabbed at her, she reached for her cane, swinging it, stumbling backwards and shooting ice from her hands. A bag was shoved over her head, metal clasping her wrists behind her. She felt another stab of pain, this time in her lower back, her body going limp. She was always careful to practice away from the main line of sight from the house, away from security cameras and the prying eyes of servants. Winter had thought it would be smarter that way, in case anyone tried to put blame on the Von Hreslevg's.

She jerked awake in a windowless room, her wrists and ankles bound to a bed. "Help!" Winter screamed, "let me out!" She twisted around, attempting to freeze the ropes binding her, sweat trickling down her back. "Let me out of here!" Why wouldn't the ice come? Winter tried again, she thought she had control over it now, so why couldn't she use it?

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Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Make them hate the fake, that way they won't see the real you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Naturally, the silent alarm went off as intruders entered the premises. As the servant staff saw Winter being dragged off back over the fence, they saved the video recordings and gathered as much information as they could. Winter Matsuri was just abducted, and so they went straight to Vincent Harrison, the Head Servant, with the information. Vincent gave the order - some servants would continue tracking and keeping tabs on the abductors, and then he went to Elise's room, knowing that this had to do with her. Elise was annoyed as she opened the door but brighthened up when she saw Vincent. "Oh, hello. What happened? Did Winter make her escape?" While Elise disliked most people, Vincent was someone she could implicitly trust.

Vincent shook his head, because that is not what happened at all. "Someone took her, but they did not appear to be those who slither in the dark." He looked to her carefully. "Shall I go rescue her? We must move fast if that is the case, or who knows what awful things might be done to the Miss." Elise frowned, trying to get the sleep out of her head. What would be the best move here? "If they caught Winter, then that means that the enemy also knows about me." Throwing everyone to chase the foe would only lead to disaster. "There is a rat in our midst. Do you know where the enemy's base is?" Vincent nodded, reaching for his holo. "Of course. Our staff have located Miss Winter and are keeping tabs on enemy movements so if they move her, we will find out."

"Give me the location." Vincent did so, transmitting the location straight to Elise's phone. She closed her eyes and imagined rain falling on that house. She felt the satisfying tug in her mind telling her that it worked. "Now I can sense them too." She could feel using her summoned rain, so now she could track Winter on her own. "What should be the plan, Milady?" Vincent asked, standing dutifully at her side. "It was my task to protect her, and I have failed." Maybe so, but they could achieve something more important now. "We will wait. If she is in danger, I will feel it and will inform you." But right now, they needed to secure something.

Just going in without thinking was how you lose. Elise was determined to win this encounter. "We must find out the truth. So we will wait and gather information on the enemy." Once they had sufficient information, they would strike in such a way that all the enemies would surrender to her and Vincent's power. She would lock them in a trap so intricate, they would only have the ability to wriggle desperately to escape her plot. Already, a strategy was forming. "Ame, can you communicate with the others?" Ame appeared and smiled a little. "I can send a message to Yuuki. I'll do you this favor because you're being so proactive for once."

Elise scowled, the black eagle, unhappy. "Not proactive. I am simply protecting myself." The enemy would go after her next. This way, she would strike at them before they got the chance. She would eliminate them all so this would be their final mistake. "Inform Yuuki that rescue is coming. All Winter must do is wait and all those responsible will be punished." They couldn't go to the law about this, so Elise had to take matters into her own hands. "To what degree should we prepare, Milady?" Vincent asked, looking at his charge. "No survivors." Elise explained. "If they are willing to target me, I will show them their mistake." To so rudely march onto Hresvelg territory and take someone under their protection? Well, you must always punish those who are rude. How else will they learn the errors of their ways?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| Dear Winter || AJR ||




Winter tugged against the ropes binding her, panicking. What was she doing here? Who had taken her? Why could she not access her powers? The door creaked open, the light temporarily blinding her. "Oh, you're awake! I didn't expect you to get up for another few hours," the voice was male, familiar. The lights flickered on, Winter wincing at the sudden change, her eyes adjusting to her surroundings. "012," Winter gawked, wondering what he was doing. This wasn't the Chrysanthemum Government Tower, Winter would recognize that place anywhere. "No, no, just Merlin now." He sat on the edge of the bed, "you see Winter, when we realized you weren't dead, we knew we had to act quickly." We? Another stepped into the room, 009.

Winter had never seen her out of uniform before, she had never seen either of them out of uniform. "Winter, you need to listen-" Janet said softly. "We resigned from our jobs." Winter wasn't listening though, she was panicking, wondering how they knew she was alive and why they had taken her. "You see, I've been experimenting." 012-no-Merlin, said, pulling on a pair of gloves and drawing out a vial with murky blue liquid. "We're not so different, you and I." He twisted his hand, Winter crying out in pain as metal snaked around her wrist, reinforcing the ropes already there. Her eyes widened, he was one of them, one of the boys Winter and the others suspected existed. "Merlin, stop." Janet grabbed his arm, snatching the vial away. "It's been like this ever since that day," his voice fell low.

He shook his head, "but you see, I concoted this. When I saw what they were doing to you, I knew I didn't want to be next. So I experimented, I knew I couldn't be caught and eventually, I made this, which suppresses the power, but it also makes you incredibly open to the power of suggestion." Janet looked uneasy, "You didn't tell me anything about that." She hissed, clearly not approving. "You said that it would give Winter a normal life." He nodded, "and it will! Once I figure out how to get rid of the side effects. You'll just have to wait a little longer." He winked, grabbing Janet by the waist. "But that's no way to thank me for putting this whole thing together. We don't have much time, I'm sure that girl is going to rain on our parade soon." He winked, Winter's heart flickering in her chest.

"They have Vincent, I'm sure he's already on our tail." Janet turned to follow him out of the room. "Janet!" Winter needed answers, "That's not my name, it's never been my name." Her hands balled into fists, "I found my real name, it's Allison." Allison? How completely boring, no matter, that didn't matter. "Why?" Winter asked softly, "becuase the Von Hresvelg's are just like everyone else in the Chrysanthemum, they're just looking to use your power. They don't actually care about you."

"And you do?"

"Yes Winter, despite what you might believe, I'm not just a heartless tool that was paid to take care of you." She stroked Winter's forehead, brushing her hair out of her eyes, it was short, it was always short because the Chrysanthemum prefered it that way. "We've both been under their control for far too long." She frowned, "We're going to go where they can't control us." Winter tugged against the restraints again, she needed to get out, she couldn't just leave. "Allison, you don't understand what you're doing. I can't just leave," Winter shook her head.

"The first dose is ready!" Merlin announced, returning. "You might hallucinate a little, but it's fine, you won't even notice it." He injected her in the thigh, Winter screaming as the burning liquid entered her blood stream. Her vision almost instantly began to go in and out, her head lolling to the side.


It was suddenly unbearably cold.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Make them hate the fake, that way they won't see the real you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







The Hresvelg Estate was not in the best state. With Winter Matsuri's abduction confirmed, Cynthia broke into tears. "I am sorry, Madam. I couldn't prevent it. However, I have the enemy tracked and we're going to be able to-" Cynthia's eyes were wet with tears, she was becoming emotional again. This was bad, she always was frail. Giving birth to Claude was hard enough on her, it was very touch and go until a lucky streak saved her life. "There isn't time! W-we have to protect her! That girl's like a daughter to me! We promised her safety!" Cynthia was trembling, her hands shaking violently. Claude stood up quickly, alarmed. "Mom-" He reached out but Vincent was faster, grabbing Cynthia and held her firmly, injecting her with a relaxant. It was dangerous for Cynthia to get overworked, why else did Jeralt instruct her to remain in the home as much as possible? "Be still, Madam. We will take care of things from here."

Now, they still needed to make a plan. Elise would rather keep it all a secret but she knew Claude, she knew he wasn't a fool. "So explain. Why hasn't she been saved yet? I saw the video tapes, with our high end security it would have been easy to retrieve her by now." They built special mechanics to prevent abductions specifically because Elise was so often targeted due to her quality as a child actress of a wealthy family, she was highly valued on the black market. "This way we can make sure they aren't able to escape." If they could secure the location beforehand, the culprits would be caught in a web with no way out but to beg for their lives. "If they know Winter has powers, they'll know about me too. And I would rather they did not try to go after me." Elise made her best arrogant smile. "I have the house encased with rain. They try anything, I'll know it."

Claude narrowed his eyes a second time. "Then what are you waiting for? We can go now to save her." Elise shook her head. Not yet, just Vincent and Elise wouldn't be enough. A small voice in the back of her head told her she should bring Mercedes and Serenity in on this but really, the black eagle wasn't the type to really consult others for help when she could solve the problem on her own. She was a natural prodigy, and prodigies never needed to ask for help. "Not yet. The enemy is slippery." Claude was agitated. He cared about Winter, he was passionate about helping make the poor girl's life better. Elise thought she was a natural trainwreck. How many times in the last month had she been kidnapped? At some point you have to be asking for it.

"Then when will be the right time?" Claude asked, glowering at his sister. Elise sighed, closing her eyes to fight off the growing headache. "I'm filling the area with rain. That includes the ground. Once there's enough rain I'll be able to manipulate the soaked ground. I'll be able to sense every step they take, even if underground. I can trap them in the mud and Vincent will be able to easily end them once they've been trapped." This was the smartest way to deal with them. If you could control the ground the enemy could walk on, they wouldn't be able to even begin to fight back.

"What if they leave your special battle zone to drier land?" Claude asked. Elise had a plan for that too. "I'll know it. If they try to flee, my rain will sense them and our hidden guards will make their move. They already rigged all the vehicles to fail, so escaping by car isn't going to work a second time." While Elise had no love for Winter, she couldn't allow a threat to her own life and safety to escape alive. Especially not after disrespecting the Hresvelg name and spitting on their promise to protect Winter from evil.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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#, as written by The_Queen
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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| Dear Winter || AJR ||




She couldn't remember if it was morning or evening, perhaps somewhere in between. "Tch, we can't leave. They'll know as soon as we go," they were trained agents, they knew when they were being watched. "I suspect they've already tampered with the car." Merlin shook his head, he had another dose ready to go, this one green. Winter's head was swimming, she was nauseous, too weak to lift her head. "Here, try to drink something," Winter couldn't think of 009 as anything but Janet, even if she had said that her name was Allison. Winter shook her head, "No," she whimpered, her head spinning from the simple movement. She had never felt so weak before, so powerless. Even after the accident, she knew that she had her powers to fall back on.

"Stop being so stubborn, you need water." Janet frowned, helping Winter tilt her head up to drink. The water in the cup began to freeze from the bottom up, solid before Winter could take three sips. Her emotions were out of control, her power was unstable. "Merlin," Janet glanced away for one second, but it was long enough. Winter cut through the ropes with a shard of ice, launching herself at them. Metal wrapped around her, pulling her back. She cried out in pain, heaving up the water she had just drank. "There's no point in fighting us Winter, we're trying to help you." Merlin drew another dose out from his little collection, cleaning a spot on Winter's thigh in her bad leg, just below one of the scars. "We don't want to hurt you." She whimpered as the needle plunged into her skin, even now, she hated them.

"S-spirit dress," but she could not transform, not with that liquid in her blood. Merlin laughed, "See? Normal, normal girls can't make fancy transformations. Isn't it nice?" He pet her head, sweat beading on her neck as he bent the metal to make her lay back down, her head swimming once more. "It's what you've always wanted, isn't it? To be normal." Her ears felt as though they were popping, Janet dabbed at Winter's nose, blood trickling from it. "I just want to live," she whispered, in another world, in another time. An explosion had rocked her world, her Grandparents, where were they? Winter needed to find them. "Grandma!" She screamed, her ears ringing from the explosion, from the gunfire.

"I'm over here! I'm o-" something was stuffed into her mouth, "shh, you're safe." Janet tried to draw her back to them, back to reality. There was too much smoke, it felt as though her lungs were burning. "No, you're not there, you're here. You're here with us, don't worry. No one's going to hurt you," she dabbed at Winter's head with a wet cloth, trying to calm her down. When she came out of it, Janet tried to get her to eat, this time Winter was ravenous. "Slow down, you're going to choke," she scolded, Winter's hands encased in metal in case she tried to use her ice again. Steel was immune to the cold, after all. "Don't tell me what to do," Winter growled, wishing she could rip off her nightgown, as it was far too hot in the room.

Merlin returned, how many hours had it been? Or was it days? Winter didn't know, she couldn't tell. "They're still watching us," he looked less than pleased. "I tried to go out to fix the car, but it's still raining." A line of frost suddenly grew on the ground, a weak attempt, but it was there. "Nice try," he flicked her forehead. "Merlin!" Janet snapped, "You don't have to be cruel." What was cruel was that they were eating pizza while she was eating stew. He prepared the next dose, this one purple. Her pupils dialated to pinpricks, her body slumping back, head against the pillow.

This time when she awoke, things felt different, as though she was somewhere between sleep and wakefulness. Like that awful stage in surgery when reality seemed altered due to all of the pain medication. Janet was not there, but Merlin was. "Oh look who's awake!" He smiled, seeming far too happy. What was wrong with him? Winter didn't know. "You know, I like you Winter, I really do, but my Heir, you should know, of course you already know, she doesn't. She hates your guts, she wants me to hurt you, but I won't, I won't hurt you because I know you don't want this just as much as I do." Winter thought she was going to throw up again.

"So we'll do this another way." He grabbed her head chin, forcing her head upwards. Was she sitting up or lying down? Winter couldn't tell. "You are a normal girl Winter," she felt something stick her skin, her head was spinning again, it burned. It burned so badly, it felt as though her entire body had been injected with fire. "You're a normal girl Winter, you have no powers. So you'll take your medicine everyday, like a good girl, because then you can live a normal life. You don't have to be a part of anything. You'll get a name, a new face, just like Allison and I both did, because us, we're the same. We're survivors Winter. So just be a good girl and take your medicine."

He pulled her mouth open, dropping a tablet on her tongue. It fizzed and bubbled, he closed her mouth, her head falling to the side, her pupils so wide they took up most of her eyes. "Be a good girl Winter, Allison and I are counting on you."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Make them hate the fake, that way they won't see the real you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







It was now time to move. "I'm coming too." Claude growled, shaking his head. "I gotta make sure you don't go out of control, Lissie." Elise felt fatigued and her head was killing her but she knew there was enough rain soaked into the ground that there was no way they could escape her trap. This was the only way to protect herself, if they had anything to blame for their fates, it would be for trying to insult the Hresvelg name in the first place. The limo sped through the streets, the three of them quickly planning to group up with the rest of the security squad that were watching and waiting in the bushes for just the right time. "Do we know who it is?" Claude asked, frowning. Vincent nodded from the driver's seat. "You know them as 009 and 012." He said simply, his face stern. "They will not be a threat."

The house was rather decrepit. Was this really a house? It was tiny compared to what Elise was used to. The security team gave their salutes to Vincent. "The targets are still here, sir!" They said, bowing to Vincent and the Hresvelg siblings. "We know." Vincent directed them to guard each exit with their lives, making sure there was no escape for the enemy. What kind of evil person would kidnap a child? Hearing their excuses would be quite entertaining. "Just... try not to kill. I want to know why they did this and why they thought they could get away." Claude sounded almost pleading. "I don't want any bloodshed, okay?" Elise shook her head, frowning. "My life is in danger as long as they live." She explained as Vincent broke the door down. "So we have no choice but to kill them." Was he worried about getting caught? Vincent was an expert and a professional. He knew how to clean up to not leave the slightest trace.

As they entered metal flew around them, blocking the exits. "Sorry, but we're doing something important here." A friendly voice echoed from a speaker. "Mind waiting until the medicine does it's job?" Vincent moved to shove the metal plates away from the doorways but Elise held her arm out, twisting it. The wet ground warped to break open the walls, granting them entry. The trio, Vincent with a gun and Elise commanding the water flooding the house, stepped through to the next room. Winter was in some horrible contraption, bound with injection wounds that even the black eagle could see. 009 was here, supposedly such a wonderful good person, and 012 was here too, grinning at them.

The floor broke beneath them, the muddy ground trapping their ankles. Water went into their weapons, breaking all the guns except for Vincent's own. "Wow. And Winter was speaking so highly of you, 009. How the mighty have fallen. You're just as bad as Doc and the rest." Her ruby eyes stared at 012 in annoyance. "And you're one of us. I see you already made your move." Claude rushed over to Winter's side, trying to undo the metal pinning her down. Thanks to the security team, they brought tools. Claude pulled out a diamond cutter and started working. "It'll be okay, we're here now. We won't let them hurt you, we promised you this on our family name."

"Now, I'm sure we can come to an agreement on this." 012 smiled, trying to pull his legs free from the mud clinging to them like arms, grabbing, not letting them go. "At least give us time for a big speech explaining our reasons!" Elise sighed, rolling her eyes. "I care not for your drivel. The sooner this ends, the sooner I can return to my room." She looked over at Vincent, who nodded. "I - close your eyes, Winter. I'll block your ears, this is-" Elise stared at the two rats, struggling pathetically on the ground. "For the crime of trespassing on Hresvelg property, you two will die. Vincent, now." Vincent's finger squeezed on the trigger without hesitation.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

0.00 INK

#, as written by The_Queen
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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| Dear Winter || AJR ||




Take the pills, take the injections. Was she sitting up or laying down? Neither perhaps. How long had she been here? Winter didn't know. A day? A week? A month? Her legs were covered in bruises from repeated injections, her mouth perpetually tasting like chalk. "Merlin," Allison gnawed on her thumb, "she doesn't look good." Her lips were pale, her pupils as wide as pennies. "It's the medicine," Merlin waved it off, looking out the window. "Merlin, she needs a Doctor." Allison grabbed his arm, he shoved her away, "We can't take her to a Doctor, you know that." He growled, "Just give her some morphin(e), she'll be fine." Her head lolled to the side, "I'm going to get you out of here." Allison whispered, attempting to remove the metal, she was seeing 012 for what he truly was.

"You're not going anywhere!" Merlin shoved her against the wall, the two of them grappling against one another. Ice suddenly shot from the floor, pointed at Merlin's throat. He shoved Allison one last time for good measure and rose slowly. "Winter, that's very bad. You know better than that," he grabbed her by the throat. "Leave.... her... alone..." she could barely string together a sentence. "Don't touch her!" Allison grabbed Merlin, kneeing him in the groin. She headbutted him, Merlin's fist driving into Allison's stomach, hard. His hand was coated in metal. She sank to the ground, coughing up blood. "I shouldn't have to take care of you too Ally," he sneered, kicking her to the side. "No more misbehaving Winter, not if you want to get out of here-" he injected her in the calf, having run out of room on her thighs.

She groaned, she was clearly in pain. "Don't worry, we'll take care of that too." He didn't have to force her mouth open to pop the pain pill under her tongue. Winter wasn't sure what it tasted like, chalk or maybe cherries. "Shit, they're here." He could sense them as soon as they stepped onto the property. "Allison, get up, we've got company." She rose slowly, her hands trembling, they never trembled, on her gun. "We're going to take things nice and slow-" the door was warped with metal, the windows covered as well. The ground split open, the entire house shaking. "Shit! Shit, shit, shit!" He cursed, "We've gotta get out of here!" They were surrounded, the Von Hreslevg's stronghold having made an appearance at last.

It was chaos, not that Winter could follow it, she was barely conscious. In a stupor, drifting between reality and whatever her mind invented. Were Elise and Claude really here? Winter doubted it. No doubt her brain was attempting to come up with a desperate version of reality. They didn't care enough about her to save her. Surely they were too concerned with their own lives to care about one stupid orphan girl. Winter felt as though she might throw up again. Her right arm was suddenly freed, then her left. She flopped forward like a ragdoll, her eyelids fluttering. He was telling her to close her eyes, but she didn't know why. "0...0...9... don...hur....her..." she slurred, her words clumsy and slow.

Allison had her hand on her gun, they were surrounded, this was her chance. Vincent pulled out his gun, both of them shooting at the same time, Allison's gun pointed at Merlin's head. He grinned, laughed, the bullets stopping mid air. "Foolish," he shook his head. "So, you really tried to shoot me? After everything I've done for you!" He grabbed Allison by the throat, choking her. One of the Von Hreslevg's guards tried to step in, tried to separate them. "Don't inerfere!" He barked, a metal pipe dragging the employee away and pinning them against the wall. "Nobody move! No one move or I'll explode all of the metal in your guns!"

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Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri
Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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Elise von Hresvelg

"Hide away from the light, the rain is the only refuge."

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Winter Matsuri

As gentle as the falling snow.

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As gentle as the falling snow.

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Elise von Hresvelg

"Hide away from the light, the rain is the only refuge."

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Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri
Winter Matsuri

As gentle as the falling snow.

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Elise von Hresvelg

"Hide away from the light, the rain is the only refuge."


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