Weather Girls

The Chrysanthemum

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a part of Weather Girls, by The_Queen.

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The_Queen holds sovereignty over The Chrysanthemum, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
241 readers have been here.
456 readers have visited Weather Girls since The_Queen created it.

Setting

Default Location for Weather Girls

Minimap

The Chrysanthemum is a part of Weather Girls.

2 Characters Here

Elise von Hresvelg [55] "Hide away from the light, the rain is the only refuge."
Winter Matsuri [55] As gentle as the falling snow.

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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.❞

【ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#0C94CC ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







There was no reason to be afraid. She repeated this to herself many times as she was taken back to the flat that Mercedes and Serenity shared. She had many reasons to not be afraid, yet her heart continued to pound against her chest. She didn't want to be outside. But she didn't want to listen to Claude and Gordon being good people. Elise was far from a good person, and she knew it too. She wasn't like Claude, she wasn't big on caring for others. Why should she if they only ever wanted to use her, or hated her? "You betrayed us. You used us, and now you painted yourself as a hero." Mercedes hissed from the safety of her flat. Serenity looked upset as well, she had been waiting inside. "Now she's back in the clutches of the enemy, Elise! We had her away, so why didn't you just cooperate with us?"

Well, if everyone was going to hate her one way or another Elise might as well roll with it. "You think I'd let you two idiots keep custody of Winter and risk my identity being found out by the Chrysanthemum? It's bad enough that they have one of us, I refuse to let them have more." She had the illusion of confidence working for her. No one noticed her trembling, her shaking. "We were counting on you." Serenity closed her eyes, quietly shaking her head. "The four of us? We were supposed to become a team to help protect everyone" Mercedes gripped her collar, making the already dizzy Elise even more weak and faint. Still, she didn't flinch. She didn't allow herself to, it didn't fit her mask's character to flinch away from physical violence. "But now, thanks to you, it was all ruined!" Mercedes put her back on the floor, and Elise could feel the wind gathering around her fist.

"What are we going to do now? What if we don't have a second chance to save her?" Then the masters of the weather in their heads would continue to complain. Ame was still doing it, Elise already had enough criticism for her actions. "And this is my problem how? Winter clearly enjoys being a slave. Why not just let her be?" Why was everyone meddling in a problem that had nothing to do with them? "We're supposed to become heroes, but we all have to come together! What if there's some evil, some enemy that we have to band together to defeat?" Mercy cried, her eyes wide and frantic. "We can only do our best. If Winter doesn't want to join the band, then you can yell at her from the afterlife. This has nothing to do with me, so I'm leaving now." She might as well go somewhere else, she wasn't going to get any peace and isolation here.

If she couldn't get what she wanted here, she would just keep wandering until Claude and Gordon got bored. Elise limped through the city, wondering if it was bad that her cast for her broken arm was getting wet. She decided not to worry about it and continued walking. It didn't take long for yet another incident to happen, however. Someone rushed at her from behind while another one came from the front. They wore masks and gloves, they were clearly experts. As frightening as it was, Elise wasn't particularly worried. "It's as if you like making me work." 012 grinned at her, his teeth bared as he knocked the two men to the ground. "Who are they?" She caught sight of him following half an hour after leaving Serenity and Mercedes behind. Did he overhear the walk? "Enemies. Classified, but I didn't expect them to go after you."

012 smiled, reaching his hand out. "I'm curious, Elise von Hresvelg. Just why did these terrorists go after you of all people? And what is with this rain on a sunny day?"

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

【ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#BDA0CB ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| Demon Slayer || LiSA ||




Backup arrived quickly, they were shuffled into a minivan, the cars moving out one by one to get Winter and Janet back to the apartment safely. Janet was giving a summary of the events to the man in the front. Winter braced herself, but Janet was a woman of her word, she had to tell them and she did. There was a moment of silence, then, "was she able to control it?" Janet seemed confused. "Yes, it was an isolated burst, the patches were roughly three feet each, just underneath the tires of the car. The man in the front seat was silent once more, "Nothing after that?" Janet shook her head, confirming that Winter did not do it again. "Alright, I'll report it to the Doc." That was it, no discussion of punishment or taking further action. Had everyone gone crazy? Winter wasn't sure. "We'll need to be more careful, it seems that someone is targeting Winter. I propose that we begin to set up security around the perimeter of the apartment building. No more unauthorized stops, 009."

So Janet hadn't been allowed to take her to the mall and grocery store? Winter glanced at Janet, who nodded. "Yes Sir," she said calmly, her tone even. They reached the apartment building without incident, Janet and Winter going inside, the door locking behind them. Winter's phone rang, a number she didn't recognize. "Turn on the news," whoever was on the other line hung up promptly after that. Winter scrambled to grab the remote, flipping through the channels until she reached the news. Her cane fell from her hands, she slipped to the ground, kneeling in the carpet. Her face was on the news again, and the next station, and the next. What was happening? It was her mugshot, from when she had been charged, as well as recent photos, the blizzards, and the accident from only an hour ago. Her face, clear as day, shooting ice underneath the tires of that car.

Who? How? Ice crept up her spine. Janet's phone rang, she disappeared into her bedroom. "We have a confirmed source reporting that Winter Matsuri, a 16 year old student of the City Center, who was formerly aqcuited of all terrorist charges, was recently seen shooting ice from her fingertips at a car. Sources spectulate that Ms. Matsuri could be a product of government experimentation, or something more sinister." Her heart felt like it was going to beat out of her chest. Her hands trembled, wondering how this had happened. Was this Claude's doing? Had he done this? "Winter!" Janet snapped, Winter sitting upright, realizing that ice had been creeping around the carpet around her. "They want me back there, don't they? They're going to erase me now. Doc's going to- he's going to-" warm arms encircled her. Winter hadn't realized that her teeth were chattering.

There was a news helicopter zipping past the large glass window. "People want to know, is this girl a threat to our national security? Parents are saying that they don't feel safe sending their kids to school-" Janet turned the tv off. She lifted Winter up, grabbing her cane and placing her in her room, on the bed. "Stay here, I'm going to make some calls." Winter nodded, watching Janet leave, her hands balling up the blanket around her.

"So what do you do now?" Yuuki asked, scaring the living daylights out of her. "Don't do that!" Winter jumped, clutching her chest. "They're trying to paint you as a villian that deserves to be locked up." Yuuki crossed his arms, "but I appointed you my vassal because I knew you could change things. So what are you going to do Winter?" Yuuki knelt down, "I'm going to sit and wait!" Winter didn't know what to do. "You chose the wrong person! I don't want this power! I don't want this life!" She screamed, ice shooting from her fingertips, large icicles forming around her hands. "Stop rejecting it," Yuuki climbed onto the bed, he stroked her hair as she shook, her tears freezing to her face.

"Accept it, accept me and we can show them that there's nothing to fear. You've already met the other vassals-"

"And they tried to kill me!" They kept her tied up in a room and made her pee in a bucket, Winter wanted nothing to do with them. "What about that Claude boy? He wants to help you!"

"I don't want his help. It's his fault this is all happening!" Yuuki snatched up her phone, "What are you doing?" She tried to move her arms, only to realize she had frozen them to the bed, they were both encased in large sheets of ice. "I'm texting Claude to see if he leaked that video." Winter grit her teeth, attempting to break the ice. "The more you reject me, the more painful it becomes."

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.❞

【ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#0C94CC ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







It was evident that something had to be done. To become the second Winter, Subject Y to her Subject X? Sorry, but Elise wasn't exactly aroused by the idea of being locked up and surveilled against her will. It was annoying enough having to deal with 012, but she couldn't let him figure out the truth. "So, please, Elise, can you explain this rain for me?" Elise looked up at the rain, moving her parasol to be able to see it. "Rain is caused by condensation of water in the air, forming clouds. When too much water condenses in the clouds, it becomes rain and falls back to the ground." She gave a harsh scrutinizing stare 012's way, her ruby eyes clear and feigning control. Could he hear her heartbeat, full of panic and terror? "What, didn't you learn condensation in school?"

He grinned, almost as if finding her to be amusing. "One second, I have to make a call. Please don't run off, who knows what might happen if I'm not around to protect you?" She forced a laugh, trying to sound fearless and calm. Be someone everyone hates. Be someone no one can touch. As long as she kept that to her heart no one would be able to hurt her. "Winter was stolen under all of your noses. I think I'm safer on my own." He reached for her but she backed up. Now, she definitely needed to get home. He rushed forward again, taking her and pulling her into his strong grip. "Yes, this is 012." The government agent said into his phone. "We had a run in with Those who Slither in the Dark during my surveillance of Miss Hresvelg. I'll be-"

"Vincent, now!" Elise shouted, and then 012 suddenly looked around in alarm. She stomped on his foot and ran off in the rain, almost glad that her bluff was a success. Instead of chasing, 012 took cover, no doubt expecting a fight with Vincent, the black arm of the Hresvelg house himself. He was more than just a servant, he was former hitman, but he definitely still had all of his old tricks in his bags. Now Elise just needed to get home before 012 realized that Vincent wasn't actually here at all. This wasn't a good part of town, so the sooner she returned, the better.

It was after Elise got back that Claude got the message from Winter. She retreated into her room and Claude grit his teeth. "No, we didn't do anything. We were waiting for the Government's reply tomorrow before making a move when the video came out." He replied quickly. He shook his head, upset at himself. Was it wrong to try to do things the legal way? He didn't think so, but it wasn't working. He needed to show the Government that none of this was his doing. No doubt they were running a counter campaign to shut him out from trying to raise support for Elise. "I'll send a message to 009 and ask for permission to publish a story with Grant to garner sympathy and empathy for Winter." He sent the message straight to 009's contacts. He was determined to make the world a better place, and helping a victim of government meddling and powers she never wanted was one of the ways. Was it possible to grant her a normal life?

Well, he was willing to put his own neck on the line to find out. Naturally, as Claude suspected the Chrysanthemum for making the video and sending it out, he was done waiting around. It was time to act. He announced his intentions, so it was fair game to make his own move on the game board.

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.❞

【ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#BDA0CB ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| Demon Slayer || LiSA ||




"No!" Clouds were forming outside of the apartment building, it was beginning to snow. "Winter?" Janet pried the door off of the hinges, it was frozen shut. "Winter!" She was frozen to the bed, her lips blue. "Winter, you need to stop this, right now." Janet said sternly, trying to bring her back. Her eyes were shut, her skin cold to the touch. Yuuki stood behind her, but Janet couldn't see him. "You're hesitating? Could it be that you want to protect your captors Winter? Aren't you tired of being their dog?" She wasn't their dog, she had never asked for this. "Don't you remember Winter?" The light flurry had begun to snow in earnest. "You're the one that crossed through my gate," the ice continued to grow thicker and thicker around her body. "You're the one that begged me to live!"

"No!" She jerked, Janet kneeling in front of her, trying to shake her out of it. "So this is your curse! This is your curse for wanting to live! Accept it Winter, harness your power! You were born for this!" He leaned against her, his hands on her shoulders, "there is ice in your veins." She was freezing, she had never been this cold before. "Winter, say something to me!" Janet begged as the snow turned into a blizzard.

"Make your choice!"

"No!"

"Winter, wake up!"

"You don't get to reject me anymore!"

"Winter!"

A needle jabbed into her neck, the only piece of exposed skin left. At the same moment, Yuuki's hand plunged through her chest. Winter slumped over, the snowstorm outside stopping. "Your life isn't your own anymore. It's our life now." He whispered before disappearing. Janet used a knife to pick at the ice, trying to get Winter out of the position she was frozen into. "Hang on," the door outside slammed open, the ice having frozen it shut. "009 we're here for backup," she rose, knife still in hand. "I've deescilated the situation with hallidol." Winter stared blankly in front of her, for the time being, for her own safety, she was going to be taken back to that building. Outside, an angry crowd had already begun to gather. They saw the ice on the ground and the snow in the air and they knew she was there.

Her life was out of control. The small amount of stability she had, had been taken away. "It's alright Winter, you're safe now." Janet promised, they wrapped her in a heating blanket, her internal temperature dangerously low. "Just rest now, we'll be taking you back." 007 said as she was carried downstairs, Janet making sure to bring her phone and cane. Her life was ruined, again. As soon as they were outside, there were angry jeers and boos. She had spent years building a positive identity in the public eye and all it took was a one hour news special for it to come crumbling down. "Everything is ruined," Winter whimpered, draping her arm across her eyes. "I can't go back," she felt another needle prick her skin, "we're gonna infuse some warm saline to bring up your internal temperature." Oxygen looped underneath her nose, tickling her senses.

She was barely consciousness the ride back to that place. Her phone buzzed, no doubt it was Claude. She could never go to school again, she could never compete again. She didn't understand, who did this? Why? Why were they targeting her? She fell asleep during the ride back, waking up in her old room. No, this wasn't the same room, Winter realized. This one was much larger, her piano from the apartment there. Had they moved everything while she was asleep? She sat up slowly, realizing that she couldn't feel her legs. Winter threw the blanket off, her legs purple and blue. In her panic she fell out of bed, looking around for her cane. No, no, she couldn't go back to this again. She had worked so hard to relearn to walk.

For the second time that day, Winter burst into tears, her fragile hold on reality ruined.

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.❞

【ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#0C94CC ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







"Winter Matsuri - innocent victim misunderstood by society?" Gordon Grant released an article in the Chrysanthemum Howler, this time on the front page considering all the controversy of yesterday. They released all the required information given to them by the as of yet anonymous government agent who requested to keep their ID a secret so that they wouldn't be re-erased. The article went into detail about how Winter was just a country girl who came to Chrysanthemum and wanted to have a fun night with her family and her friends. Because of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, her world went upside down, she was given strange powers, she lost everyone she loved, she was dragged by the government to be put into care. "But the care was actually tests, as evidenced by these images and videos." Gordon Grant had written. "This was too much stress for the 12 year old girl, what 12 year old girl wouldn't lash out to protect herself?"

A traumatized 12 year old girl, put on trial for a crime she did not commit, mere days after losing all of her friends and family. She was all alone with no support group, no allies, only a cold hearted government staring her down, intending to have her locked away forever.

With the release of the new information, things became a lot more turbulent. What was the truth? What was the lie? Sure, there was an angry mob, but there was an equally sized group of peaceful protesters, picketing with their signs, pleading for Winter to be given a fair chance at life, that even with powers, she was just a young girl in awful circumstances. The streets were chaotic now thanks to Those who Slither in the Dark, or whatever it was Elise heard 012 talking about. Among the peaceful protesters, Elise caught sight of Serenity and Mercedes, bringing in the whole of the Chrysanthemum City Center to vie for Winter's innocence and good nature. They highlighted her achievements at the City Center, and how she would be dearly missed.

Elise was doing something a little more useful.

In the same area she was before when the Slithers found her, Elise was there again. The rain was pouring, as it always was, and she held her parasol bravely in the air. Her dominant arm was in a cast but really, by now, she was used to using things with her right arm now. She needed to set things straight with the Slithers because she didn't want to risk them leaking the fact that she, too, was a weather girl. She was already a famous celebrity, she didn't want to be known as a vassal as well. This part of the Chrysanthemum was lawless. Criminals and scum lived here, the low lives of society. Would they come? Would they show their faces?

"Is there a reason you're out here again?" 012 grinned at her, standing warily apart as usual. "Who would have thought that the black eagle who hid herself away from the world would show up at such a dangerous place two nights in a row?" This time she was here for a reason. "Vincent." Unfortunately 012 was here to ruin her day. Luckily, she had Vincent with her for real this time. He appeared from the shadows, as if he were a ghost, or a specter. "At your side, milady." He did a small bow, staring down 012 through his monocle'd eye. "I'm not here to fight, whoa there. I just want to know. Why are you here? You were attacked just last night, Elise, this isn't like you."

Elise had to portray the selfless girl who only wanted to protect her friend. "You people won't let me see my friend. So I'm taking drastic measures to finding things out on my own. Why was Winter sent to another school? Who leaked that video?" Her ruby eyes smouldered as the rain splashed against the tiles on the ground. "You really want to see her again? Will you stop going to dangerous places if I make a request?" No, she didn't particularly care about Winter, but it was the role she had to act. "We're not the ones who made the video. That's all you need to know, little missy." She wasn't going to have this kind of attitude.

"You stalked me for the last week. I'm no longer uninvolved. You took my friend from me, and you won't tell me anything." Her goal was to track down the Slithers, but she supposed questioning 012 was just as helpful, though for a different reason. "Fine, I'll put in a good word for you to be allowed on Winter's approved contacts list. Is what you want?" She shook her head. "009 won't allow it. But I do need something. You must tell your higher ups to take better care of Winter's mental health. Instead of discipline and isolation, treat her with care and love." Her eyes grew darker. Really, how stupid could a government be? "You want her to stop making blizzards? Make her happy. Make her stable. Or is that too hard for a big fancy tax-money taking all-mighty government to do?"

012 grinned, amused again at the feisty Elise von Hresvelg. "Alright, fine. I'll make a very opinionated message to me superiors. I'll send them spam mail." He winked at her then, and Elise glowered at him, pursing her lip. "But you make sure you stop putting yourself in danger. You're a kid - leave the Slithers to us adults." She gave a fake smile and nodded. "If you can prove that you the Slithers aren't part of your government, that would be a whole lot easier." She turned to Vincent, dismissing 012 now. "Take me home." Vincent nodded, as dutiful as ever. "Always at your service, milady."

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.❞

【ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#BDA0CB ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| Demon Slayer || LiSA ||




"Checkmate," she pushed the button on the timer, glancing at her opponent, Doc. "Very good, it seems you've beaten me yet again. You know, I used to consider myself something of a chess prodigy before meeting you." He chuckled, rising from his seat. "Now, let's take a look at those legs of yours." She pushed back from the table, her feet bare, since there was no point in wearing shoes inside of her room. There was a glass wall that overlooked the garden, it seemed they had a bit more trust in her, upgrading her to a larger room with a view. Doc rolled up his sleeves, looking at her legs. They were cold to the touch, still discolored. "Can you feel this?" He asked, using a pen cap to poke the bottom of her feet. "The pressure, but not the sensation." If that made any sense. He nodded, "how about this?" He poked the back of her calf. "No, nothing." She felt tears well up in the corner of her eyes again. "There, there, it's going to be alright. We'll get to the bottom of this," Doc pat her head. His phone rang, his eyes narrowed. "What does 012 want now?" He grumbled, waving before he left.

Winter wheeled herself to the window. She hadn't touched any of the instruments yet, she wasn't in the mood to play. It was a beautiful sunny day outside, if not ruined by the people protesting outside the building. She didn't know whether they were for or against her, but she didn't care. The door opened, Dr. Hellen, the Psychologist, had arrived. "Winter, I've come to check on you." She smiled, but Winter did not return it. "Do you want to talk?" She asked, pulling out a chair. "Not really, no. There's nothing to talk about," she ran a hand through her hair in slight frustration, pulling at the ends. Hellen guided her hands away gently, "you have beautiful hair, it would be a shame if you started pulling it out." She smiled, her hand giving Winter's a squeeze. "A man named Gordon Grant launched a counter-campaign, he's trying to show people that there's nothing to be afraid of."

She handed her tablet to Winter to read, but Winter wasn't interested. "I don't need to read my own life story. I've already had to live through it enough times." She leaned back in the wheelchair, mentally and physically exhausted. "Winter, you know you can always tell me what's on your mind?" Winter nodded, but she couldn't, because everything she said had to be reported back. "My life is ruined, I just wanted to be normal. I wanted to go to normal school, do normal teenage things and now, through no fault of my own, I can never leave this building again." Hellen nodded, "Well, I wouldn't say never again. Once this all blows over, I'm sure you'll be able to-" she stopped, noticing the ice creeping up Winter's hand from inside her glove.

"Winter, talk to me, tell me what you're feeling."

"I hate everything, I hate myself the most." She whispered, her voice hoarse, her tears freezing to her cheeks. "Hey, don't say that." Dr. Hellen reached over, picking the ice tears off of her cheeks. "I don't want this, I don't want this life anymore." Hellen hugged her, even if they were not supposed to have physical contact. She had her own daughter at home, who was the same age as Winter. "And there's this voice in my head, this awful voice and it keeps telling me to just accept it so it won't hurt anymore." Obviously Dr. Hellen misinterpreted that bit, "Winter, don't listen to that voice. You're a very important girl, you're one of a kind. Alright? Is there anyone you want to see or talk to? Any friends from school?"

She was about to say no, then- "Claude and Elise Von Hreslevg." She hated Claude, ever since she had met him her life had slowly spiraled downwards, but she knew that he was the only one that could help her. She would approve Elise too, since she had saved her from the kidnapping, it only made sense that she would want to see someone that had saved her once before. "Anyone else? I'll make sure to reach out to them." She jotted their names down, looking up to Winter to see if there was anything else she could do. "Serenity and Mercedes, from school. I don't know their last names." Those two idiots, it was about time she spoke with them to see what they knew.

"Alright, I'm going to reach out to all of them and see if they have any interest in coming to visit. Just sit tight Winter, we're all working very hard behind the scenes right now to make sure you'll be safe." Winter knew the other half of that statement though, she had almost caused a third blizzard, they were keeping her here to protect the general public in case she lost control again. After Hellen left, Janet arrived. She was wearing her usual uniform, but today her hair was down, a rare occasion. "Hey kid," Janet rarely called her kid. "I know it doesn't make up for everything that happened, but I brought these." A coffee shake, her usual order, and a flaky pastry. "Thanks," she reached for the drink, the taste sweet.

Normally, Winter wasn't allowed these things, her dietary plan was supposed to be strictly protein and carbs, nothing too high in sugar, but Janet had grown soft on Winter, especially now, after having seen her break down.

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.❞

【ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#0C94CC ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Public opinion was very divided at the moment. Some people believed the first news story, and claimed that Winter Matsuri was dangerous. In particular, there was a family known as the Peller family, who had a daughter that wanted to be a famous pianist. Nino Peller got second place often, and was discouraged from trying at the Opal's recent competition. Her parents were the most vehement supporters of the theory that Winter Matsuri was a national threat. On the other hand, the students of the Chrysanthemum City Center were trying to spread the word that Winter was just an unfortunate girl who received a hard lot in life. Both ideas were popular, but more popular still were those who refused to believe either side and chose to withhold judgment, waiting to see what other news would come out.

A message came to Elise's phone the day after her attempt to lure out the Slithers from the shadows. She was invited to talk to Winter. Was it a one time thing, or was something else happening? Was this a result of her own work, or was someone else pulling the strings? "Elise, are you dressed?" She stared angrily at her brother. "How can I dress myself with this arm?" It was still in a cast, making everything difficult. Claude snickered for some reason and helped dress her like he did all the other mornings. "Alright, you're good to go. Winter never reached out before, so maybe we can do something." He frowned, slumping a little. "What? We don't have time for you to get sad. This is my sanctuary time that I'm sacrificing for you." Her brother seemed a little deflated. "Why me though? Winter made it clear she hated me. I - I don't mind that. I'm still doing what's right, I don't want any rewards for it." Still, he looked puzzled. 'Why would she reach out to me?"

"If you want to know, you'll go." Was Elise's unsympathetic answer.

That was how the Von Hresvelg half-siblings found themselves in front of a small modest little flat (at least to their eyes). There were guards here, and they were allowed through the two sides of people. Mercedes and Serenity weren't here, it seemed they were still debating amongst themselves. Ignoring the support and the jeers, Elise kept her head high and entered the building. 012 and 009 were standing side by side, taking their bags and checking them over. The rain was still pouring - how had they not figured it out yet - and they were cleared for any contraband or weapons. "Don't talk about the Slithers." 012 reminded Elise and she nodded, she didn't need to be told that.

A room was set up. There were a few chairs, there were some paintings on the wall of things Elise didn't care about. Not only that, but there were even some potted plants. Elise almost found it funny how hard they tried to make this room comfortable but really, it all felt plastic to her. If they wanted help making a sanctuary of a room, they would ask Elise how to do it. She faced a gentle smile and waved at Winter. "Hey! I'm glad to finally see you! How have you been!" Claude stared at her before realizing and he nodded, forcing his own smile but he while he was naturally glib, he wasn't the actress his sister was. "Hope you're not taking things too hard. We'll clear your name and calm things down, so don't worry about a thing, alright?"

"Though I'm sure Winter doesn't want to talk about anything boring like that." What kind of talk was this? Did the psychologist think a monitored non-private talk would be any good for Winter at all? "012 approved of some books! Here, are there any you're interested in reading?" What she called books were actually Japanese comic books, there were quite a few varieties. Some were about magical girls, some were about an academy of underdog heroes, some were about a mute girl and her former bully. "Those aren't books." Claude chuckled, amused by Elise's abrupt face.

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.❞

【ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#BDA0CB ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| Demon Slayer || LiSA ||




Winter was supposed to go through a routine to help normalize and adjust to all of the changes. When she awoke in the morning, there were a few hours until she was meeting with Elise and Claude, should they decide to come. Winter transferred herself into the wheelchair and wheeled herself into the bathroom. She took a bath, sitting in the hot water for exactly thirty minutes and willing the ice to melt. She dragged herself out of the tub and went through her routine, brushing her teeth and hair, and picking out an outfit for her meeting. After all, she couldn't just wear pajamas all the time. She chose a blue sweater with white hearts on it and a high waisted skirt that zipped up the side. "Still a few hours," she murmured, glancing at her watch. Breakfast was set on the table, eggs and a fruit cup, juice, and pills.

They were supposed to help her regain feeling in her legs, but Winter still felt nothing. She tried not to feel frustrated after only three days, but it was hard not to. She had to switch gloves as well, not wanting to get her Mother's gloves dirty from the tires of the chair, she wore fingerless gloves for the time being, the feel of them unusual. Even if she ate slowly, there was still too much. She wheeled herself around her room, uncertain what to do, and eventually set herself upon the piano bench. She placed her legs on the peddles, wondering how she was supposed to play like this. "Don't think about it, just feel." Winter whispered, settling her hands on the keys. Slowly she played, a sad, slow tune. It was as though someone was standing over her, crying. "I didn't know you could make a piano weep."

"Don't scare me like that!" Winter snapped, jumping. Yuuki stood behind her, were the other's Heirs around this frequently? Elise had mentioned her Heir, Ame, who was apparently begging for her to save Winter. "Can you make a piano laugh too?" He leaned over her, she pushed a few keys, a tinkling tune coming out. Yuuki laughed, sitting in her wheelchair, playing with it. "What's this do?" He asked, turning one of the wheels and spinning in a circle. "That propels me since you decided to paralyze my legs." She glowered, remembering that she was mad at him. "I warned you, didn't I?" He held out a hand, but Winter knew better than to take it. "Keep rejecting me and it's just gonna spread." He rose, dusting off his robe.

"I told you that I accepted you and I got no answer!" She snapped, frustrated, afraid. "No, you said you did, but your heart is still saying no. You've gotta feel it in here," he placed a hand against her chest, her cheeks flaring up. "Pervert!" Instead of getting angry, he laughed, jumping away when she tried to hit him. "Accept it Winter, when you do, it'll stop hurting." He disappeared like a snowflake melting in the heat. There was a knock on the door, then it opened. "Winter? Your friends are here." Dr. Hellen smiled, seeming relieved that they had come. Winter nodded, "I'll be there in a moment." She transferred back into her chair and wheeled herself down the hall, knowing the way to the meeting room already.

They were there, sitting in two of the five chairs. Hellen removed one, giving Winter a big enough space to park herself in. "I'll be just outside if anyone needs anything," Dr. Hellen promised, closing the door behind her. It was to give them the illusion of privacy, but it was easy enough to tell by the four cameras in every corner just how private it truly was. Elise was wearing a new mask today, it seemed, one of compassion. She was a good actress, if Winter didn't know any better, it might've fooled her. "Hey," she gave a half-wave. "I wish I could say I was doing well," she was the exact opposite of well, right now, but she would adjust, like she always did. She had received a letter from the Lovely Academy for Gifted Girls this morning, stating that they were taking back their offer of acceptance and did not want her within 500 feet of the property.

"I'm not taking things hard," she said weakly, but it was pretty obvious that it wasn't true. Elise jumped at the chance to change the subject, taking out a stack of books she had brought Winter. At first, Winter stared, blinkling dumbly. Then, oddly enough, she began to laugh. "Wow, you really do think this is a prison, don't you?" She took the books, placing them in the saddlebag on her chair. "The books only have to be approved because you can hollow them out and smuggle stuff in them." She knew because, well, experience. "Come, I'll show you my room, I'd rather talk in there anyway." She unparked her chair, pushing open the door. "Hellen, I'm taking them to my room, like a normal teenage girl would do with her friends."

Dr. Hellen straightened, having been on her phone, monitoring. "Oh! Alright, yes, that would be very good." Winter led the way, her arm strength much better than her leg strength. She was a slow walker, but on wheels, she could have been Speed Racer. Hellen opened the door to Winter's room, holding it open for them to go inside. "I'll be right out here if you need anything!" She said, closing the door behind her, the lock engaging once it was shut. "This is my room," it was large, with a simple hospital bed and vibrantly painted walls. There was a carpet in the center of the space and a wall lined with books and games of all kinds, as well as a television set. The windows let in plenty of light, illuminating the opposite wall, where her instruments were, as well as the marble piano.

There was a table with two chairs, where Winter normally ate, and another door that led to a bathroom. She placed the books Elise had gotten her on the bookshelf and turned to face them. "There's no cameras in this room, it's safe to say what you want. Help yourself to snacks or drinks from the mini fridge," She wheeled over to her bed and transferred out of her chair, preferring to sit on the more comfortable cushions. Her bed had personal items, like colorful sheets and a weighted blanket, as well as throw pillows and stuffed animals. If it weren't for the fact that it was in a government building, Winter's room was rather nice. "Elise, I need to ask about your... benefactor." Winter's expression became serious.

"Does Claude know?" She wouldn't ask these questions in front of him if Elise had yet to tell him.

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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.❞

【ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#0C94CC ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







They were actually here. This was, for once, the first time Winter Matsuri actually reached out to them. She also reached out to her kidnappers, which really was an indicator of how much the leak from what 012 called "those who slither in the darkness" but really, that named sounded ridiculous. They had to simply be a part of the Chrysanthemum. Claude told Elise beforehand not to be mean to Winter, she was in a delicate state, you shouldn't be cruel to someone who is trying to reach out for help. Winter began to laugh as Elise brought out the comic books, and Elise made a wry grin and nodded. "Look how small this room is, it's not my fault! My room at home is twice this size!" A lie, her room was a tiny bit smaller, but Elise always was a good liar. Wasn't that what acting was?

"Geez, if anything you shouldn't shown her the letters our Trig class was sending her." Claude shook his head. They tried to send a whole lot of letters but they were each denied and sent back. Claude assumed that the Government was simply keeping Winter hidden away, not even allowing her to see how her former classmates cared for her. "Some of them have typos in them, I wouldn't force anyone to read them!" Elise laughed like the sound of a rainbow after the dark clouds cleared up. "It must be boring stuck inside all the time, Winnie!" How nice it would be to get to stay inside forever and never have to show her face to the world.

They were pulled then into Winter's room which was supposedly private and safe. Was it true? Elise could only hope so. Claude went to get glasses of water for the three of them from the minifridge, thanking her for inviting them in. "Why did you invite me? I thought you hated me for trying to help." He wasn't asking because he didn't want to be hated. It didn't matter to him if he was. He just genuinely wanted to understand why he of all people was reached for. "I'm glad you're reaching out though, Winter, you shouldn't have to face this alone." He made a persuasive sort of smile. "If you want, you could interview Gordon Grant and finally get to say your piece. You have supporters - people that care and will listen. All you have to do is accept the invitation, whenever you feel you're strong enough."

Undoubtedly, Winter wanted to talk about the big rain cloud in the room. "He doesn't." Elise said quickly, shaking her head. "But it doesn't matter. I probably should have filled him in." Claude looked over at her, raising an eyebrow so Elise gave him a quick summary - she has rain powers, she has a person in her head named Ame, and she found the sun and the wind too. "I wish you told me." Claude murmured. "But that's fine. Thank you for telling me now." She nodded, and locked eyes with Winter. "Just sit there and listen quietly. I'll answer your questions at home, okay?" He nodded, agreeing to sit silently and not interrupt.

"You should know, 012 has been stalking me. There's someone I need to find, but 012 following me and stalking me makes it very difficult." She narrowed her ruby eyes, it was clear despite her confident and calm mask she was agitated and upset. She didn't like being followed. She didn't like her business being intruded upon. "He's going to find me out, I don't know how to get him off." She really, really, didn't want to be made into Winter 2.

No doubt Winter wanted to know all about Ame. "She always bugs me at night, like, if she wanted a slave, why couldn't she attach herself to someone else?" The black eagle didn't want anything to do with these powers. "She comes out at night when I sleep, or when I shower she calls me out. It's really... not fun." It was usually more of the same. "Berating me for not saving you, for bringing you right back into enemy hands. Telling me I'll melt into rain if I can't save you, which-" She glanced down at Winter's legs pointedly and winced. "Probably isn't just a threat, now that I'm seeing you." Were the sun and wind heirs threatening their hosts as well?

"What about yours? The more information we share, the better chance we'll have."

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.❞

【ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#BDA0CB ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| Demon Slayer || LiSA ||




"This is just the meeting room, it's not like I sleep in here," Winter shook her head. They really though that she was being imprisoned and isolated from everyone, didn't they? Even before, Winter had access to any book or game she wanted. Privilages were only taken away if she misbehaved, which Winter was pretty certain any parent would do to their child anyway. Similar to grounding, only sometimes a bit more extreme. Letters? "I don't need to see those," she said quickly. She didn't want to see what her classmates thought of her. Did they think they understood her now that the truth was out? Why she avoided going to class and spent most of her time in the music room? Why she avoided talking to anyone or making friends? Were they afraid of her?

They went to Winter's room, Claude getting water for all of them. Winter took the glass he brought her, her hands shaking slightly. She took a sip of water and placed it on the night stand, ice forming where her hand had touched. Claude wanted to know why Winter invited him to come, despite the fact that she had said that she hated him. She couldn't recall ever saying outright that she hated Claude, but she had thought it plenty of times. "Because the worst already came to pass." Winter replied with a shrug, "at first I blamed you, since the day after I met you, everything started going downhill, but since the truth is out and the world already knows, there's no point in trying to push you away anymore. Besides, I knew if I invited Elise, you would find a way to come anyhow."

Plus, Winter had been explicitly told to cut off contact with Claude, it wasn't as though she had done it purposely. "No, I don't want to talk to Gordon, not yet at least." She said quickly, wondering if it was too soon. Besides, there was no way security would let Gordon through the gates. She would have to invite all of the press, otherwise they would wonder if Gordon was being enticed or bribed. Winter shook her head, pushing the thoughts from mind. She had other things she needed to worry about and focus on, like seeing if Elise had the same issue with her Heir that Winter did. Why had Yuuki waited so long to reach out to her? It had been four years since the accident and only within the last month had he appeared in her dreams.

"We don't have to talk about it in front of him if he doesn't know-" but Elise turned to Claude and gave him a brief overview of everything. Explaining that she had found the sun and wind, that she herself was the rain and that there was a tiny voice in the back of her mind, pressuring her. The same voice Winter had, only it probably wasn't Yuuki that was bugging Elise. She couldn't help but smile when Elise told Claude to essentially shut up and listen. Her brow furrowed when Elise mentioned 012, that he was essentially stalking her. "I take it, it started sometime after you rescued me?" No doubt they were following Elise around in order to protect her from any unseen threats.

"I'll try and get him to knock it off," but Winter had little to no influence on the inner workings of the Chrysanthemum. The only real decisions she got to make were when she woke up and got to go to sleep, what she wanted to wear or eat, otherwise, her life was controlled by the government. Essentially a helicopter parent, only with more people involved and more parents than Winter could count on both hands. Winter listened as Elise explained, that Ame would come at night and bug her, that she was begging her to save Winter and threatening her the same way Winter had been. Winter listened carefully and only responded when Elise asked about her own Heir.

"His name is Yuuki," her voice was soft. She had never told anyone about him before, "he appears seemingly at random, mostly when I'm feeling emotional. Sometimes in my dreams to try and teach me about what I've apparently inherited." She tried to think of anything she may have left out. "This only happened because I keep rejecting it. I don't want this power," Winter said softly. "But unless I accept it, it's just going to worse." She needed to learn to control it, or else she risked losing the rest of her body to the ice.

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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.❞

【ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#0C94CC ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Winter explained her reasoning as for why Claude was invited. It was a puzzling thing, since she rejected his advanced when he tried to become friends with her. She dismissed him in front of the class, but luckily due to his natural charm and popularity it wasn't like anyone thought worse of him because of it. "I see." He nodded, sighing at Winter's explanation. "I didn't mean for things to go all wrong like that. If it was my fault, then I apologize." Still, he felt a need to explain himself, so that Winter would know he didn't mean ill, and that his work wasn't finished. "I just don't want to be a bystander, standing around and doing nothing if something bad is happening. And, well, 009 didn't make the best impression on us when she called you a test subject, or when she threatened to have you erased." He had to make sure that she was safe and not being used or treated horribly.

"This is still very illegal mind you." He muttered under his breath. It was clear that he and Gordon were still going to pressure the Chrysanthemum for better treatment, but given her powers and her skills, taking her out from under their dirty claws was never going to work. Elise, of course, didn't care about that side of the conversation, so she decided to play with her hair instead, finding it more interesting. "Will you always be controlled by them? Even as an adult?" Would Winter always be a caged bird, never to know freedom, to be well adjusted with society? And if that was the case, was this his sister's eventual destiny too?

With Claude silenced for now, they would be able to talk about the important things now. All the stuff about heirs and vassals - the more they could share, the more they would know about it. Maybe they could find a solution to rid themselves of these problematic powers. If only something like that were possible. Elise shared as much as she knew off the top of her head, including how 012 was stalking her and following her. The black eagle doubted that Winter had any way to stop him, she just wanted to complain about it. "He started doing it shortly after Claude, Gordon, and I met with 009." The day after that he was assigned to follow her around. "There's probably someone assigned to keep an eye on Claude and Gordon too." That way if they posed a risk someone would be on hand to eliminate them quickly.

Winter then told Elise all about the Heir of Snow, who called himself Yuuki. It seemed that they had different times to show up. Ame appeared when Elise felt tranquil or at peace - which was when she was asleep, or when she was in the bath or shower. The solitude of being surrounded by the sound of water, as if no one else existed in the world, was a privacy Elise once loved before Ame started interfering each time. Yuuki appeared when Winter was at emotional highs and lows it seemed. "I don't know if I accepted them, but that's how I found you when Serenity and Mercedes kidnapped you. I put a drop of water on you and traced your movements." She frowned, feeling oddly bashful about that. "...Just in case the Chrysanthemum tried to erase you, I'd still be able to find you."

Wasn't there a little bit of information she gathered from the others too? "...That's right. Mercedes mentioned it, but she was stressed out. Apparently the four of us are supposed to gather as a team to 'protect Chrysanthemum from danger', whatever that might mean." It just occured to her but it certainly came to mind. "Though if the Chrysanthemum keeps you isolated from the outside world I have a feeling you won't be able to fulfill whatever mission the heirs will give us." Would that spell the end of Chrysanthemum? If so, Elise didn't mind. It's not her fault some government officials were too afraid to do the thing that would save them from disaster.

Was that a rejection letter? Wasn't Winter supposed to - "Where will you be going to school? Or will you be educated in here?" Everyone had a right to education, even test subjects. Probably Winter wouldn't be able to do any schooling until after the people outside - both pro and against - got bored of the current sensationalism and found something else to waste their time with. "Do you want me to rain on them so that they leave?" It was already raining nonetheless, but she could always make it worse.

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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.❞

【ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#BDA0CB ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| Demon Slayer || LiSA ||




A water droplet? It was ingenious really, something small enough that Winter never would have noticed it. Elise may well have saved her life, even if she didn't think of it like that. Even if Mercedes and Serenity meant well, there was a very real and dangerous possibility of death. Keeping someone locked up against their will, especially two super powered humans versus one, was not a situation Winter wanted to be in again. Even now, Winter had a hard time controlling her powers, as evidenced by the ice that was clinging to her glass of water. When she was emotional, her ability went out of control. If she kept her cool, however, she could; for the most part, control it.

"I guess you should just... accept it. Unless you want to end up like me," she gave a self-depricating laugh. "Locked up in a building somewhere because you went a little out of control and now you can't feel your legs." She wished there was a better way, a safer way, to go about this. She wished Yuuki would just tell her how to accept it so that she could end her pain already, but he was as aloof and vague as ever. Winter shook her head, no point in mulling over it if it wouldn't help her any. "Protect Chrysanthemum from danger?" Now that she thought about it, she could've sworn that Yuuki had said something about it. They were supposed to gather, the 4 girls, in oreder to protect the Chrysanthemum from something, but what?

What untold danger were they going up against? Why them? "Claude mentioned you were at the concert the day of the attack," Winter mentioned. "When the explosion went off, I remember seeing a blinding white light. I remember thinking how much I wanted to live. A shrine gate was suddenly in front of me and when I crossed through to the other side, I woke up in a hospital." The Doctors had told her that she had set off a blizzard, that she was in the center of it, huddled in a little ball, her leg destroyed by the blast. "I'd have to sneak out," which would be next to impossible considering the amount of cameras in this place and the fact that she was in a wheelchair. Of course, Winter would not tell Claude and Elise that the Chrysanthemum had been trying to find a way to control Winter's power ever since they had found her. They could find no trace of it in her blood or genetics, there was no way to synthesize it and hand it to others.

"They just like to make threats," she waved a hand in front of her face. "The only way that would ever happen is if I did something greally bad." Otherwise they would have erased her already. Considering the amount of protesters outside, that might be the only way to diffuse the situation. Then again, if they did that, once all of this did die down, Winter would never be able to enter another music competition. The topic suddenly changed again, it seemed that Elise was oddly talkative today. Perhaps it was the mask she was wearing today? "I have a tutor for the time being," they didn't want Winter to fall behind, after all. She had tutoring twice a day, for two hours each session. She had a break in between for things like lunch and resting.

"No, it's fine. They'll stand out there no matter what, besides, this is the last place you should be doing something like that, especially if 012 is already suspicious." Winter waved a hand at the window, at the people outside they could see but not hear. "I'm sure once they get tired, they'll go home." She transferred back into her wheelchair, wheeling over to the window to look outside. They couldn't see her, but she could see them. A counterprotest had started, it seemed.

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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.❞

【ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#0C94CC ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Well, at least Winter seemed to be entertained by her situation. Turning into an ice sculpture, and having her life be a prison both in ice and in structure. It was a thankless existence, one with no reward. Luckily, Elise had a chance to avoid having to deal with that. "For now cooperate with Yuuki, maybe he can reverse something." If there was a way to reverse the consequences of these powers Elise would rather know now than later. Was it bad to use Winter as a guinea pig towards that ideal? "Try telling him if he doesn't help you reverse it, you won't be able to help him with whatever task he may need." Surely Yuuki wanted something, as did all the heirs. They needed the vassals to accomplish their goals, but if a vassal were to die - well, the heir would be useless then, wouldn't they?

Their time was running out, soon they would have to go. Claude had a troubled frown and it was evident he wanted to talk. "Fine. Speak." Elise directed, giving him permission to not be silent again. "It's clear you have an important mission of some sort." Claude said after clearing his throat. "Gordon and I will continue to negotiate with the government to give you a better life. There has to be some kind of compromise they'll accept, if it means to save the world." Maybe mandatory weekly checkups, maybe a long period of power stability, maybe even good behavior, there had to be some condition that the Chrysanthemum would agree to. He would butt heads for as long as it took. "You'll die if you force it." Elise said with a shrug and Claude frowned again, thinking to himself.

"Well, it sounds to me that if Winter can't get out, we'll all be in danger of some disaster. That means I have to try even harder than before to fight for her freedom." He wasn't going to give up, he was going to do whatever it took. Was it stupid of him? Elise sure thought so, but Claude believed that just maybe, he might be able to make a difference. It was naive - why would the Chrysanthemum care about one girl's mental problems, about one boy's attempts to create change? They cared more consolidating power and controlling everyone around them. They were all evil, from 012 to 009. Elise would - well, she wouldn't dance, but she would imagine dancing on their graves if they were to die awful deaths. Those government idiots would sooner cause the end of Chrysanthemum than admit their wrongs.

There was a knock on the door. "It's getting late, and I'm sure you two rich kids have places to be." Elise knew 012's voice anywhere. Elise, personally, felt exhausted. She just wanted to curl up in her sanctuary and never go out again. "I'm tired, I wanna go back to my safety room." It seemed she was too tired to continue wearing the mask. Her arm felt heavy and stiff inside the cast, she hated wearing it but it was still stuck like that. She reached for her parasol, marked with the emblem of the black eagle to represent the Hresvelg family. "Thank you for letting us come. Don't be a stranger, if you can help it." Claude gave her a wink and helped walk Elise out. 009 was rigid, 012 was grinning, and Vincent and his car was waiting for them outside.

It was time to leave this cursed place behind. It was time to return to her beloved sanctuary.

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.❞

【ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#BDA0CB ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| Demon Slayer || LiSA ||




They were leaving, their time was up. 012 knocked on the door, Janet standing behind him, looking none too pleased, despite the fact that she had no authority to deny them entry. Of course, it would be her pleasure to guide them to the exit. "You too, I have my phone, so if anything new comes up, text me." Winter watched them leave, the door closing behind them. The silence was defeaning, the room going from full of talking and speculating to silence. It was lonely, Winter realized, she was lonely. She hadn't felt like this in a long time, as much as she didn't want to admit it, Elise and Claude offered a ray of hope. Winter turned away from the window, there was no point in watching the people who were crying for her demise or protesting her existence, as though she had a choice.

There was a soft knock on the door, Doc had come, bringing lunch with him. "Winter, I see your friends have just left." She nodded, wheeling to the table. "Yes, they did." He stroked his beard as he sat across from her, Winter taking the lid off of the tray. "Is the tutor going to come after lunch?" She asked, picking up her fork, knowing that he had come to potentially get information out of her. Winter ate slowly, deliberately, hoping to not give him a chance to ask. "So what did you speak of? Nothing too personal I hope." She shook her head, "No, just about school. We all worked on a project together, I wanted to know how we did." He nodded, "anything else?" Winter glanced upwards, then shook her head. "If you're thinking about if I told them about the tests, then no, I didn't. Speaking of tests, the nerve conduction study?"

"The results all came back normal, it seems the paralysis is a direct result of your mysterious power." He alluded, rising from his seat. "Don't forget to eat your dessert, 009 tells me it's one of your favorites." He left, Winter lifting up the cover on her dessert to reveal pudding with whipped cream on top, with chocolate shavings. One of her favorites? She placed the lid down, realizing that there was a note inside of it. Had Janet sneaked her a note? She picked up her spoon and reached for the piece of paper, a bit soggy from the lid, unravelling it slowly. Her heart thumped in her chest, wondering if this was some sort of prank, or if Janet was truly reaching out on her own.

Winter,

You're in grave danger. The Chrysanthemum is hiding secrets from all of us, secrets that I feel you deserve to know-


The rest of the note was blurred, unreadable due to the steam from the tray. Winter blinked, eating her pudding, wondering if this was a note from Janet, Doc, or someone else. What wasn't the Chrysanthemum telling her? A lot, probably. Like who those people were that were chasing them. Or who leaked all of that information to the press? Could it be that they had done it themselves? Had they leaked all of Winter's information in a bid to gain more control over her? She didn't know, she was feeling suddenly tired, however. The tutor would be here soon, she needed to finish her pudding before her got here.

Later that night, Winter lay in bed, waiting for the sleeping pills to kick in. She could've sworn, out of the corner of her eyes, that she saw someone watching her, but was certain that it was more than likely a shadow.

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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.❞

【ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#0C94CC ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||








Sanctuary? Who would have been so naive as to believe that? What was waiting for Elise was a full on interrogation at the hands of none other but her half brother himself. "Who are 'those who slither in the dark'? He would ask. "How did you get so badly injured if it was Serenity and Mercedes that kidnapped Winter?" He wanted the truth on everything and Elise was forced to obey. "P--please stop! I don't have the energy to keep acting right now!" She would wail, wanting to go back to her room. It was just so tantalizingly close but he was barring her from her happiness. It was cruelty, it was inhumane! "Stop going out at night. I'll figure out the sluthers." Claude shook his head, making a smile. "I sent a letter to the Chrysanthemum, about a wish for a compromise. I hope they'll respond."

Would they? Elise wasn't so sure. And as she returned to her room, she saw Ame there, pouting at her. "You're supposed to save her, why did you just walk away so casually?!" Ame beat her fists against Elise's cast and she sighed. Was she not going to have any peace and quiet at all today? Was there no freedom for her to just be left alone in her room? "And what did you expect me to do?" Ame's eyes lit up and she waved her arms in the air. "You could have fought them! Drench their weapons in water so they can't attack! Steal her away! Be a hero!" Ame swooned at the thought and Elise wondered what it would be like to punch a little rain girl. "Remember, if you take too long, you'll melt into water!" She didn't want to, but she couldn't just pick a fight with the Chrysanthemum so overtly like that.

Elise was pushed to the ground. "How dare you protect Winter! She's a danger to us all!" Some of the students grouped up and were targeting her now. Why was this happening? Well, it was because of the new feed on the news, revealing Elise von Hresvelg as the hero that saved Winter when she was kidnapped, as someone sympathetic to a national risk. Obviously, the Chrysanthemum Howler was still spreading counter stories, marching a campaign to talk about the pains and suffering Winter faced daily, but it was a battle and no side was truly winning yet. "You think just because you have money you'll be safe from the blizzard?!"

Her ruby eyes burned like a slow fire, her lips creasing downwards under her breathing mask. "I would appreciate if you didn't put your commoner's hands on me." She muttered. Claude wasn't here, he was hard at work at a meeting with the Minister of Childcare, working with Angela to come up with new terms for Winter's daily life. Minister Angela MacMillan would be trying to figure out a soft hand approach with the Government instead of trying to abruptly force their hands. Someone slapped her across the face. "Don't look down on us just because we aren't as amazingly rich or smart as you!" Elise tried to pretend that she found this funny. "Oh? Are you attacking me or complimenting me?" Mercedes and Serenity walked by then. "Hey, maybe-" But Mercedes pulled Serenity's hand away. "Don't bother, she's still our enemy." She muttered to her friend. They still hadn't forgiven Elise's betrayal, which Elise would argue, wasn't a betrayal in the first place.

So, why was she even bothering attending school like this? Why not just drop out and live in her room forever? Wouldn't that just be so nice? It's not as if 012 could burst in and beat up students, that's one surefire way to get re-erased, that's for sure. She knew he was around, but keeping carefully out of sight. If anything, Elise needed to find a way to get in contact with the slitherers. They knew her secret - and she needed to silence them. "Elise? Where's your textbook?" The teacher asked, seeing that she wasn't reading along as history class started. "Don't need it." She went up to the white board and scribbled the answers to the daily questions on the board before limping away. This was a waste of time, she already knew everything without needing to spend hours listening to stupid kids try to figure things out.

Instead of wasting time sitting around, Elise was going to see if she could find anything out about the Slitherers.

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.❞

【ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#BDA0CB ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| Demon Slayer || LiSA ||




There was a little girl crying on the ground, kneeling in the snow. She shivered, her fingers and toes purple, her lips blue. In front of her were three graves, each of them fresh. "Why are you crying Winter?" A voice asked from behind her. She sniffled, only 12 years old and orphaned. "Everyone's dead. They all left me," A hand touched her shoulder, squeezing it. "Come on, let's go play inside." She was whisked off of her feet, her legs numb. Yuuki carried her into a house, seating her in front of the fire. She was no longer 12, but 16, sitting with a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. "You don't want anyone else to leave you, so that's why you push everyone else away, isn't it?" Winter didn't answer, but clutched the blanket tighter. "That's why you let yourself come off as arrogant, you want to seem untouchable, but really, all you want is a hug."

"You don't know anything about me." She protested weakly, "but I do." Yuuki replied, pouring them both tea. She didn't reach for it, knowing better than to accept gifts from spirits. "I know that when you were 7, you tried to run away from home because your Grandpa told you, you had to stop bringing home stray dogs." Winter was silent, Yuuki continued. "I know that you don't remember your Mom, but you sometimes you think you have a memory of her smile. I know that when you were 10, you moved to the Chrysanthemum from the country side, and I know that when you were 8, you tried to kiss a boy, then cried because he didn't feel the same way." How did he know all of that? "I also know you're wondering how I know all of this," he grinned, taking a sip of his tea, Winter still hadn't reached for her's. "It's because we're one, why do you think you're losing sensation in your body? Because you're rejecting a part of yourself."

"And how do I stop it?" She asked, shuddering. "Accept it, accept me." Yuuki held out a hand, Winter was afraid to take it, she hesitated. "Trust me, Winter. You have nothing left to lose," he glanced at her hands, panic flushing through her. Still, she hesitated. "What is this mission you aren't telling us about?" Winter asked, not trusting him. "That comes next," his hand was still hovering over the table. "Just let go Winter, you don't need to be in control all the time." She reached over the cups of tea, taking his hand. She felt something within her, as though a gate had opened, snow and ice flooding through her. She was cold and hot at the same time, wondering what this was.

"Stand up Winter," she did, slowly. It was a dream, but she knew, she knew they were back. "Now, for the fun part."



Winter groaned, feeling strange. It was midday? Why had they let her sleep so late? She tried to sit up, only to realize that she was connected to far too many machines. What was going on? "You're awake!" Dr. Hellen exclaimed in surprise, stroking her forehead. Winter tugged at the oxygen beneath her nose. "Yes?" She asked blearly, wondering what had happened. "Doc found you passed out by the piano, you've been asleep for a few days." A few days? She was going to kill Yuuki. "I'm hungry," Hellen laughed. "I'm going to call Doc to come and take a look, alright? Just sit tight." When Hellen returned, she brought pudding and water. Winter took both eagerly, glad that she was getting something good. Janet was there as well.

Despite her neutral expression, Winter could tell Janet had been worried. She had learned to read her assigned guardian after a while. "Well, I'll be." He watched as Winter raised both legs slowly, wiggling her toes, something she had been unable to do before. She grinned, he wanted to run more tests of course, but Winter had a few new tricks up her sleeve. They were going to find out sooner or later and she'd rather show them now. She grasped her cane, her legs a bit unsteady after going unused for a bit. They walked slowly from Winter's room, to the testing room. "Alright, show us." Doc stepped back behind the glass.

Winter nodded, taking a deep breath. This had better work, she thought. "Spirit dress!" Her clothing began to change, a whirlwind of icicles surrounding her, she could see Yuuki out of the corner of her eyes, watching her tensely to see if she could do it. When the snow recinded, Winter's night gown had changed. She was wearing a gown, delicate and lacey, with a longbow in her hands, one made of ice. "Incredible!" Doc applauded on the other side of the glass. Janet was watching her, wide eyed, Dr. Hellen clapping wildly, as though they were proud of Winter somehow.

"It looks like you finally learned how to control it!"