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Weather Girls

The Chrysanthemum

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a part of Weather Girls, by The_Queen.

None

The_Queen holds sovereignty over The Chrysanthemum, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Setting

Default Location for Weather Girls
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Minimap

The Chrysanthemum is a part of Weather Girls.

2 Characters Here

Elise von Hresvelg [625] "Hide away from the light, the rain is the only refuge."
Winter Matsuri [625] As gentle as the falling snow.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Jallet
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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 ||




After finishing her morning routine and eating breakfast, Winter zipped up her bag. She was to meet the others at the front door, making certain that she would not see Zed along the way. Winter waited there for them, hoping that they would at least be on time. She glanced at the clock at the wall, leaning against the wall. "I'm here!" Serenity skipped up, suitcase in hand. She had already been shopping, of course. "Glad you made it, now we're just waiting for Elise." Ezra and Carter had opted to stay here, to throw Zed a bachlor party, or to perhaps torture him, Winter wasn't sure which. "Is Mercy coming too?" Winter inquired, Serenity shook her head. "No, she and Ollie went back to earth, they said they'd be back for the wedding." Winter nodded in understanding, although it stung a little that they hadn't bothered to say goodbye. Elise arrived at last, looking as though she had slept little. "Morning," Winter smiled upon seeing her.

"Wait, don't leave yet!" Ezra and Carter ran down the hall, making a ruckus. "We wanted to say goodbye," Ezra grinned, hugging Elise first, then Serenity, then Winter. He gave Elise a peck on the lips and whispered something in her ear. "See you later," Carter waved. He looked as though he wanted to say something more, but Winter was glad that he did not. "We'll be back soon," Winter promised. "Come on you two, I planned a full day for us. We're going to stop at Zeus's first to drop off our things." Winter led them to the awaiting carriage. "Zeus won't be home yet, since he's at work, but we can just leave our stuff there with his staff." Nemia was sitting in the front, she was coming along as well, since she was Winter's personal assistant, appointed to her by Iris. Nemia had been close to Iris, working underneath her for a long while. Her death had hit Nemia hard as well.

The ride to Zeus's wasn't too bad, about twenty minutes by carriage. "So I planned a lot for us today," Winter bubbled excitedly. It was no doubt strange to see her so happy, so care free. "First we're going to look at a few houses for you two, since I'm sure you're eager to establish yourselves here and start making it feel more like home. Then we'll be going to the beach, there's a great spa there and I think we can all use some pampering." Winter showed them the pamphlet, "After that, we'll be going out to dinner and then back to Zeus's." She had never gotten to have a girl's day and this was probably the closest thing that Winter would ever get to it, so she wanted it to be fun for all of them.

They arrived at Zeus's a few minutes later, where his staff was waiting to receive them. "Welcome Lady Winter and her two guests."

"Serenity and Elise," Winter supplied. "Ladies Serenity and Elise, we humbly welcome you. Should you need anything during your stay here, we will be more than happy to assist."[/color] Zeus's staff consisted of a mix of nymphs and elves, they were all males because Iris had thought it would look back for the head of Olympia to have females on his personal staff, considering what the implication could be. "We will show you each to your rooms," Winter nodded. Each of the rooms were well appointed and themed differently. Winter followed one of the staff to her room, which was gold and white. The bed was in the center of the room and there was a large box sitting on it. The bathtub was on the deck, overlooking the mountainess view that Zeus had. It was a lovely room, one Winter had never stayed in before.

There was no time to admire it, as there were important things to do today. She opened up the welcome gift, finding a box of chocolates, a bottle of wine, and a bathrobe with her name on it. Her Dad had planned this, no doubt, it was just like Zeus to think of something like this. She smiled and placed it down, going to gather Elise and Serenity in order to start their day.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri
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❝A second return, but what for? And for whom was I brought back?❞

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

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Ezra and Carter would be staying here with Zed. Yuuki intended to visit often too, as he planned on the kind of nevermelting ice statue he wanted to make for the garden. With the current vote, it would either be a statue of Iris to commemorate her, or of Zed and Winter in some romantic way to celebrate the wedding. It was a tie vote, but whatever he decided Elise would not know, since she was busy making sure she knew exactly what to do to make a good bridal shower for Winter. She knew Winter of course, so a big extravagant party would not be suitable. Something smaller. Something a little more homegrown. A private, little gathering where Winter could breathe and regain her strength for the wedding. A calming little event would be best.

Wait, something was strange. As she fought the growing headache in her skull she glanced around, her hawkish eyes scanning the party waiting for the carriage. "Where is Mercy?" Serenity glanced at Winter and shrugged. "She and Ollie will be back for the wedding, they needed to check in with the President." Elise nodded, bringing her small bag of books and clothes with her. Serenity had a lot in hand, including make-up kits she bought from town in the early morning. "When did you have time go to shopping?" Serenity giggled. "I don't have to sleep much at all now. Perks of being the Heir of Dawn." It made sense but Elise was not sure if she was envious or not. It might be nice to be like Serenity, never having to compromise her morals once during the war. She made it through with a clear conscience the whole way.

Ezra and Carter gave one last greeting so Elise decided to give a rare sign of affection and kiss Ezra before the carriage headed off. There was a strange look of triumph and glee on his face as he took Carter's shoulder. "See that? She kissed me! You owe me a beer, Carter!" Their voices dimmed as they fought and Elise sighed, looking out the window at the golden city passing her by. She wanted a palace by the sky, where she may be able to see the Sentinel Tower in the distance, smiling at her. It was her first real home in the Boundary and one she missed. "Is Kore invited?" Elise asked Winter suddenly. "I have a lot I would like to thank her for." She owed Kore so much, Ezra's existing alongside them today being the latest of the favors from the Heir of Mercy.

Zeus's Palace in all of it's splendor was almost smiling at them as they were carted in by the carriage. Winter introduced her and Serenity and they were allowed in, the servants all bowing to them. Just before Winter was one of them, just like them. Elise's room was a nice calm grey color. "We had it styled similar to your former status, serving as the Servant of the Heir of Mercy." Elise nodded, fine with the grey, almost cloudy decor. "For now that is fine for me." Later on she would find out a thematic that would suit her as the Heir of Fortune. Or perhaps she would take the crest of black wings with her to the end. She remembered how other Heirs had special features. Svarog with his horns, Neptune and the beard that looked almost like water.

Elise wondered if she could grow black wings and become as she always wanted to be. "Over time, new Heirs become closer to their true selves." The self Servant said almost gently, as if sensing turmoil. "You may have changes, but they will make you the real you." Elise could already imagine Serenity being so bright it almost hurt to look at her. "Thank you." Serenity's room was bright and full of color, she was excitedly filtering through the sheets and curtains with joy. "How is it?" Elise asked, trying to untangle the ball of guilt. "Good! Hey, about the bridal shower..." They exchanged a few ideas, and then they heard Winter's footsteps. What would they get to do today? Elise wondered what was in store.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Jallet
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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 couldn't wait, she popped into Elise's room to see both her and Serenity were in there. "Are you two ready to go?" Winter asked brightly. They had a full day ahead of them, after all. She hoped that they were as excited as her. "We're going to go house hunting first, I have a whole bunch of listings for us to view." Winter led them back to the carriage, Nemia waiting by the door. "Which listing first, Lady Winter?" Nemia asked, holding her own gift bag. Her eyes were sparkling, it was clear that she was just as excited to go house hunting. No doubt she envisioned herself living in a mansion of her own one day. "This one first," Winter showed Nemia the listing. Nemia nodded, running off to sit in the front of the carriage. Winter sat across from Elise and Serenity, wondering what they had been tlaking about before.

"This one has prime lake front property, I think it might be a bit big for either of you, but I figure it's probably a good place to start!" She chirped, feeling a bit like a realestate agent. "I thought a premade would be good for your first house. Of course, you can always build your own house if you buy a plot of land, but I wasn't sure if you two were ready for that and-" she paused, taking in a deep breath. "Sorry, I'm just nervous. I want you two to like it here, after all." Winter then turned to Elise, "I forgot to answer your question before, but Kore is invited to the wedding. Hades is too, I didn't want to, but I can't exclude him since he's Zeus's brother." Neptune was going to be there as well, the big three all in one place. Winter wasn't sure how it would go, so Zed had made certain that there would be an open bar.

"Oh, we're here! That was fast," Nemia opened the door to the carriage for them. The property had a gate at the front, like most of the estates in Olympia did. It was a two floor home, with a separate guest house around the back. There was also a pool house, as well as a large lake. "It's got eight bedrooms and seven and a half bathrooms," Winter started reading the features from the listing. "An indoor and outdoor kitchen, a boat house, an outdoor bar, well, maybe we should just go inside and get a better idea?" She suggested, leading them in through the front entrance. "Wow, this place is so nice." Serenity's eyes glittered, she had grown up not rich, but not abundantly wealthy. There was no staging or furniture, so they could get a good idea of the space. The foyer was quiet large, a staircase off to the side that led to the second floor. There were plenty of tall windows and even a hidden room with a slide that led outdoors.

"So, what do you two think? This one is kind of on the smaller side for the homes in Olympia, although you won't need as much staff in a place like this." She led them back to the carriage, "The next property is a little bit bigger, it's got a better view too." This carriage was located on the edge of a cliff, with a view of the ocean. "The layout to this one is a square, there's a courtyard in the center," Winter explained, "right now there's a pool, but I'm sure you could put whatever you want there." The house featured sixteen rooms with fourteen and a half bathrooms. This one also had a staircase that led you down the side of the mountain and to a small, private beach.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri
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❝A second return, but what for? And for whom was I brought back?❞

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

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







They were going house hunting. Elise figured she would make her request quickly before they got too far into the process for the day. There was a very specific set up she was hoping for. Was it selfish to make this decision without Ezra's opinion? Her stomach churned painfully in her gut but she shook her head. "Selfish. You're so selfish. Why do you deserve love?" Garrel taunted her of course because he was her and this was her own voice speaking back to her, her own emptiness manifested as self hatred. Spiraling, spinning, she smiled, pinching her wrist. Let it out. Release the pressure valve. Calm. The houses were nice. "I would like one that is high up." She told Winter as they entered the carriage. "I would like to be able to see as the fog wraps around the top of the Sentinel Tower in the distance." It would give her a comforting feeling.

"I'm sure we can find something like that." Serenity said, grinning from ear to ear. She was excited, brightly playing with her hair an fiddling with her long slender fingers as she gazed out the windows to watch the city scroll past them like a long reel of a landscape painting. "What are you looking for?" Serenity shrugged, excitement shining in her eyes. "No idea! But I'm excited to see what's available!" How did she do it? How was she so flawlessly happy? So positive all the time? It was strange. Even before she was not like this. How did she become strong? Serenity was once the weakest. Now, Elise found herself admiring her in some strange way. Winter too, was weak and strong. Elise never had strength to begin with.

Kore and Hades were both invited. That made Elise happy at least. "I hope Cerberos can come too." That silly three headed dog deserved a break. Elise watched as Serenity loved and gushed about all the properties Winter showed, her eyes lighting up each time. Elise shifted her eyes to Winter, wondering. Was she really strong? What was this strange hesitation? "You dread it a little." She said softly, mostly to herself. "You do not want us all to grow apart." It was so clear after looking at her a little. "I cannot speak of the others. But you are my only family left. I will cling to you until you are irritated of me." A self hating little smile rose on her face, eyes shining. "And Ezra loves you like he does a little sister."

"I think I want the lake house." Serenity said after Winter showed them the two houses. "It's bigger, it's by the lake, and I can bring in a lot of Servants as staff." There was a sunny look on her face. Why was she always so radiant? Why was Elise so envious of that stupid positivity? That naivety? For a brief moment there was a hateful pulse in her veins. Why was Serenity okay? Where were her scars? Her pain, her trauma, where was any of it? but she bit her lip and fought it back, shaking. She would talk about this later, but she did not want to ruin the mood now. "So I can bring happiness to all of my workers who help me bring the dawn each day." Serenity continued, oblivious/

Then it burst out.

"How?" Elise asked, her eyes like bloodied daggers in the sunlight. "How are you so happy? So untouched by the tragedy? Everything that I cannot be?" Like a bright light that did not know darkness. Serenity blinked, then still smiled. "I don't know. I just think there's no point in being down." Serenity said, looking at her hands sadly. "Why be down, when you can find a reason to be happy? And maybe help others be happy too?" For some reason she looked vulnerable and Elise shook more. Why? Why did it come out? Why could she not control herself? "You're dealing with trauma. It's okay." Siri tried to touch her but Elise was not sure if she wanted to be touched. Shame filled her stomach, making her feel like a fish that was drowning.

"Sorry." She admitted, looking down at her boots. "That was wrong of me. I should not have said that. Done that." Siri nodded, but remained quiet, glancing nervously at their host, almost as if she was asking Winter for help.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Jallet
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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, stop it." Winter said assertively, "Serenity's happiness has nothing to do with you." She turned to Serenity then, "I'm glad you like the lakehouse. We can still look at a few more, since this was just the first two." Winter explained; Serenity seemed to already be thinking about staff. No doubt she would find a partner easily, what with her sunny personality and all. "We're at the last one for now, but we can deinifitely look at more after the wedding." Well, after the coronation since Winter was getting coronated right after. There was going to be very little time to herself after that. She and Zed would not even get a proper honeymoon. Iris had always been busy, from planning parties to keeping some of the Heirs in check. Iris had always been the life of the party. Winter had a large hole to fill.

"We're here!" This one was situated a bit farther than the others. It was high up, where it seemed like the clouds had touched it. "This is it," the carriage stopped. Winter opened up the door, leading them inside. The house had marble floors and tall pillars. There were multiple windows to let plenty of light in. "It has ten bedrooms and 8 and a half bathrooms, so it isn't the biggest one, but it's nice." A castle sitting on the clouds, Winter thought. "It also has a really nice backyard," the yard had a pond and a fountain, a nice trim garden, and a view of all of Olympia. It was an impressive sight, Winter thought. She turned towards the others, "This is the last one for now, I have other things planned, so let's go." Winter led them back to the carriage, glad that house showing was over for now.

They went to the beach next, the carriage ride a bit quiet. Elise's outburst before hadn't completely spoiled the mood, of course, but Serenity seemed to be awfully silent now. "We're here," Winter let them out again, hoping that this would uplift their spirits. "Welcome, Lady Winter and guests." The dryad greeted them with a sweeping bow. "Hello, you must be Tuck?" Winter asked, the dryad nodding his head. "Yes, come right this way. We have luch ready, then a full list of spa treatments."[/color] Winter gestured for Serenity and Elise to follow her. Lunch was set up as a picnic for them on the sand, the water a few hundred feet away. Winter kicked off her shoes and settled down, a feast having been prepared for them.

"Ah, it all looks so good!" She grinned, picking up a cracker with a piece of cheese on it. "I bought gifts for both of you, since you're going to be my bridesmaids," she was also treating them to this spa day, of course. Winter took out two little gifts bags, handing one to Elise and one to Serenity. They each had a necklace in them, one in gold and one in silver. They each had a glass circle that had their names etched into them. "I hope you guys like them, I spent a while picking them out." Winter watched nervously, Serenity grinning from ear to ear. "Oh, it's beautiful!" She flung herself at Winter, wrapping her arms around her. "I'm going to put it on right now, here, help me." Winter assisted Serenity, closing the clasp behind her. "I'm so relieved that you like it!"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri
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❝A second return, but what for? And for whom was I brought back?❞

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

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Winter's statement was wrong. Elise grit her teeth, feeling her tongue ready to lash out with more venom and vitriol. Then she held it back, shivering. Garrel's laughter echoed in the theater that was her mind, he or she was clearly enjoying the show, five star entertainment. Elise wished she could see the comedy in it as well. It made no sense. Serenity seemed like a foreign creature. Like someone that did not really exist. A caricature. Yet fuller than life itself as she quietly admired the scenery. Was she afraid? Had Elise's outburst hurt her? She tried to apologize again but bit it back. She did not have the right to. She did not deserve forgiveness. They were going somewhere else now, Winter had more to show them than just those two houses.

There was one last one for them to see, the carriage stopping to let them out. The three girls were greeted by an elaborate mansion - smaller than the lake house, but still full of splendor. The marble floors were nice, almost looking Roman if you squinted, and had many bathrooms. Elise looked up, frowning a little. Not as high as she liked. She was hoping to have a tall spiral tower for herself - maybe she would find one later. No final decisions until Ezra had a chance to browse around either way. "I like this one too." Serenity said softly, glancing around. "I can see how I would furnish this room, and that hall..." She almost seemed to fall in love with each one. Did she want a big lively home like the one she grew up in, with three younger sisters? They returned to the carriages, house spotting done for now.

A dryad named Tuck greeted them at their next location, a spa day was prepared, with lunch as well. A picnic was waiting for them, soft sand padding her feet as she made her way to the mat. "Oh, there is so much food!" Serenity's eyes went wide, brightening up. Elise forced a smile, wondering how little she could get away with eating. "It certainly looks expertly put together." Reminded her of the fancy banquets the Lawsons always used to make to impress the rest of the noble families of their status and wealth, at the top of the ladder. A gift bag was produced, Winter's kindness in physical form. Guilt pounded at her heart. She was not paying attention in political classes. Was she supposed to contribute a gift as well? She snuck a glance at Serenity who did not appear to have a gift either. Was she safe then?

"It is really nice." Guilt wrenched at her stomach as she admired her name, etched in the silver within the glass circle. "This quality of jewelry would not be out of place in a noble house." Why did it surprise her that Winter was able to get her hands on this? Perhaps it should have. Serenity expressed the gratitude a lot easier than the black eagle had been able to. Elise was able to wear it herself, clasping it behind her with deft fingers. "Well... should we enjoy this spa to the fullest?" The food may not fit well in her stomach but the relaxation therapies she was greatly looking forward to.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Jallet
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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 ||




"Yes, let's enjoy it," Winter was relieved that Elise liked her necklace as well. She and Serenity ate to their heart's content. Winter noticed that Elise barely nibbled on the food, but hopefully Elise would soon realize that she needed food for fuel. She would collapse if she continued to ignore her bodily needs. "Are you ladies ready?" Tuck asked, Winter glancing at the others to make certain. "Yes, we are." She led them inside, there was a room waiting for each of them to get changed. Winter put on the warm robe that was waiting for her, a second door leading them onto a porch that overlooked the water. There were three beds for them to lay on and receive massages on. "I thought we could all use some relaxing after that final battle," there was a nymph waiting for each of them. She removed her robe, handing it to the nymph to hang up.

Winter did not know that she had been carrying so much stress. She had so many knots in her back that it was almost painful for the nymph to work through them. With a magical touch, Winter simply seemed to melt on the table. She could hear Serenity occasionally making squeaking sounds, leading Winter to believe that she was enjoying it as well. Did Elise like it? Winter wondered, peering through the hole on the table to look down at the ocean through the glass porch. The tension in her body melted like butter in the microwave set to high. Winter became a puddle of putty. By the time it was done, she felt like a different person. "That was great!" Serenity marveled, "I had pain in my shoulder, but now it's gone!" She admired as she put her robe back on. "I guess we all really needed this," Winter replied, tying her robe.

They went to another room, this one with a large open wall. There were recliners there, the nymphs prepared to do their nails next, as well as give them facials. There was a menu to choose from and a wide range of colors to pick. Winter thought of the wedding colors as she browsed the wall, choosing two shades. Blush pink and a gold highlight, it would go perfectly with her wedding colors. Serenity went with purple and silver. "What colors did you choose El?" Winter asked as she sat down, picking the pumpkin enzyme face mask. It promised to leave a great complexion and healthy glow. Winter wasn't sure what that meant, but it couldn't have been anything bad. She lay back in the chair as the mask was applied, it tingled, but not in a bad way. Maybe that meant that it was working?

Winter admired her sparkly nails when they were done, her entire body feeling refreshed and rejuvinated. "This is exactly what I needed," Serenity sighed. They were each given a goody bag to take home with different skincare products. "It was great, I've never done anything like this before." Winter agreed as they walked back to the dressing rooms where they had left their clothing and belongings. She wished that she could do this more often. Maybe she could? There were no rules against Heirs taking a spa day. Maybe she would sneak away with Zed when she could? That would be a nice romantic getaway. Already Winter was thinking about skipping out on duties and stealing time with her fiancee.

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Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri
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❝A second return, but what for? And for whom was I brought back?❞

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

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







The food tasted strange, despite how elegantly put together it was. Elise admittedly was no able to put much of it into her stomach, but she still had to admit it was not bad, just different. Her stomach was rebelling so she put the food down, watching Serenity and Winter eating to their heart's content. Once food was finished, it was time for them to move on to their relaxation activities, the dryad Servant took them to another room with beds for them to lay on. Massages. Normally Elise was the kind of person who would be more cagey about. But it seemed that the spa was a different environment and she removed her articles of clothing easily, laying herself on the bed as if it were completely natural.

"Weren't you a prude?" Serenity giggled, her cheeks pink. She was a lesbian, but neither Elise nor Winter particularly cared about her inclusion here. "This is not my first spa." Elise murmured, nearly robotically. Elise closed her eyes, taking a deep breath. She heard the voice coming back, mocking, telling her that she did not deserve this but she shut it out. This brought her back to when she was a little girl, when her mother took her out to spas and salons often for top quality care. With a deep sigh she got up off the bed once the massage was over. "It had a relaxing effect." Her feelings felt a little bit more restrained. Controlled. A sharpness returned to her head that she missed. She felt analytical. She felt in control.

Another room was presented to them, with choices of colors to have their nails done. "It seems we are to color our nails." She said after briefly scanning the room. "You're too wound up! Let's enjoy this!" Serenity pushed her into a chair then sat down next to her, grinning from ear to ear. "It is good to be careful." Elise muttered rigidly, taking a gander at the color options available. "It's even better to live and be alive! You might like it!" They chose colors and their nails were decorated with the hues of choice as they wore masks. Elise stared at her black and scarlet, wondering if she was allowed to wear those colors again. "I had a feeling she would." Serenity giggled, nudging Winter in the side. "Her family's colors!"

They each had a bag to bring home as they returned to the carriage. "I wonder what the guys are doing." Serenity grinned, raising her eyebrows. "I overheard Ezra saying there was a javelin throwing competition he wanted to show Zed." The black eagle said, recalling the other night. "And a sword fighting show." Serenity gave her a look then turned to Winter. "She's pulling back into cold bitch mode again." Was it a complaint? "And I assume you have a problem with that?" Serenity nodded, leaning over to pat both of Elise's cheeks with her hands, the pulled her mouth up into a smile. "There, isn't that better? You should be more like this!" Elise blinked, crossing her arms. "...It will take time. And we need someone to keep their thoughts in control." She shook her head, not wanting to fight. Not on the eve of Winter's wedding.

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Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Jallet
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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 ||




"Hey, let's not fight you two." Winter pleaded, wanting things to go as smoothly as possible. "We're almost at the last activity of the day," there was still time to salvage it and try and end the day on a good note. "What's the last activity?" Serenity asked, wanting to spoil the surprise. "You'll see soon," Winter promised. Tomorrow was supposed to be the bridal shower, if Elise had done her due diligence, and the next day the wedding. Winter hoped that they could keep this from turning toxic, or at least keep Elise under control until after the wedding. Winter had asked her if she was up to keeping everyone else in line, but instead, it seemed that she would be the one to keep Elise in line. Winter felt a stab in her chest. She had just wanted one perfect day, but did that make her bridezilla? Winter wasn't sure.

"We're here," she said eagerly, wanting to get out of the carriage before Serenity or Elise came for one another's throats. They were at a restaurant, one of the fanciest in Olympia. "Hello, I have a reservation for three under Winter Matsuri," she explained. The hostess looked down at her list, "Oh yes, right here! Please, right this way." She gestured, leading them to a table beside the window, a private corner. "You guys can order anything you want off of the menu," Winter smiled as they sat down at the table. They were all dolled up after their trip to the spa and Winter had already been wearing a nice dress. "I've been wanting to try this place for a while, but it's really hard to get reservations." She definitely wanted to get dessert here, they were supposed to make ice cream in house, which Winter thought was cool.

"Maybe we should order some appetizers to split?" Serenity suggested, "that way we won't get full before the meal starts." Winter nodded in agreement, "That's a good idea. What do you think Elise?" Winter wanted to include her in the decision of course. "We can get the appetizer platter," it had a little bit of everything. Hopefully Elise would actually eat something here. The waiter came to take their orders, Serenity asking for the appetizer platter and roast chicken. "I'll have the hamburger," Winter closed her menu. She handed it to the waiter, she and Serenity waiting for Elise to order. "Oh look, fireworks!" Serenity pointed out the window. "Is today a celebration?" She asked eagerly, sitting back in her seat. "No, I have no idea why those are being set off." Winter admitted, taking a sip of water.

"Maybe the boys are up to no good?" Winter giggled, sighing inside. She hoped that Carter would stop chasing after her once she was married, it was embarrassing, really. She almost wished that he hadn't accepted her offer and had gone back to earth with Oliver and Mercedes. At least they had a sense of responsibility. As much as Winter wanted them to stay, she knew that it was best that they had returned to earth. They had lives to live there, a Chrysanthemum to run. Winter looked between Serenity and Elise, hoping that they would enjoy their time here. They could live centuries if they wanted to, Zeus had been alive since what seemed like the dawn of time. Did Winter want to live that long? She wasn't sure yet.

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Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri
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❝A second return, but what for? And for whom was I brought back?❞

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

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Sparks flew and not the romantic type, between Elise and Serenity but they both loved Winter and wanted the day to go smoothly. Elsie would never understand this kind of naive optimism, and Serenity did not comprehend the need to be wary, to be on guard, to be prepared for anything bad that may happen. They seemed to share an agreement as they exchanged a brief glare. They could put it aside for now, because this was not their day but rather Winter's. They could fight about in some future date when Winter was not around to refugee for them. Elise was curious about the last activity but her stomach was hurting, like a big empty void in the middle of her torso. She felt a little bit light headed - there was always a little discomfort here and there, was there not?

A fancy restaurant, and a reservation for the three of them. A menu was presented for them, with many options. How many would Elise eat? Did she even want to eat any of them? Her stomach ached in pain but she ignored it. The idea of eating made her feel sick regardless. "You don't deserve this. This nice meal. This wonderful food." Garrel jeered, soundtrack of all her doubts and fears. "You're empty, what makes you think you can be on the same level as them?" She did not know. There was nothing good about her. Empty vessel. Faceless behind the mask. "Well? Are we splitting appetizers or not, El?" Serenity asked pointedly, snapping her out of her reverie. "Um, sure." She muttered, caught too off-guard to put her normal cold mask back on. They ordered a few things, Elise choosing some sort of Elysium Caviar Roe to sate her appetite.

With the sounds of noise and celebration Elise could very faintly hear it. "That is Ezra's laugh. I can recognize it anywhere." The mixture of a high register howl and a low gruff rumble, Ezra's laugh was a very unique sound, and one she knew no matter where she was. It was the insane laugh he had when taking her through the steps on his bike. Serenity giggled, amusement in her eyes. "Well, I'm glad they're having fun." She beamed, nodding. "It was just supposed to be a javelin throwing game. Why are they causing trouble?" Serenity shook her head. "Let's not worry about them and having a nice ladies' night. Look, the food is here!"

It did smell nice and Elise wondered how much she would be able to eat. "Also, if you don't finish that plate, Winter will make me the Maid of Honor." It was a petty attempt to pick a fight but Serenity was still trying nonetheless. "I will try, but no promises." They already had a plan for tomorrow for the bridal shower in any case. She rolled her eyes. "And Winter would only want me as the bridesmaid as I am her adopted sister." Or the other way around, whatever the case. Suddenly Elise felt nauseous, the whole plate of roe cleaned off. Her stomach felt bloated in the worst way. Her brow twitched in pain. "You ate way too fast, El!" Siri cried in worry. "You've been literally starving yourself, you gotta take it more slow!" Elise raised another eyebrow. "How did you know?" She barely reacted to the pain. Serenity made a frustrated sound. "Just breathe in your nose, hold it, then out your mouth, you dummy."

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Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Jallet Character Portrait: snow
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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 laughed, "I'm just glad you got her to eat," she barely touched her steak. The appetizers had been so delicious that Winter had eaten one too many of them and she wanted to save room for dessert. "I can hear them laughing from here," Winter wouldn't try to look though, she couldn't see Zed before the wedding. "I'll be right back, I'm just gonna go to the bathroom." She said, getting up for a moment and leaving them alone. Serenity stirred the food on her plate, perhaps she had eaten too many appetizers as well. "You know Lissie, maybe we should call a truce for the next two days? I know we don't exactly get along, but Winter needs us to make sure that her day goes perfectly." She waved to the waiter, "Can we get the dessert menu?"

"We should order something in secret so Winnie will be surprised when she comes back," Serenity looked down the menu. "What do you think of lava cakes? It's got ice cream and a brulee? Whatever that means," she handed the menu for Elise to look at. "Is everything set for the shower tomorrow?" She asked, waving the waiter over once more after they had settled on a dessert. "Did you like any of the houses today? You seemed kind of out of it the whole time." Winter returned, taking her seat once again. "Sorry I was gone for so long," she apologized, smiling at her friends. "I hope the wait wasn't that bad." The fireworks had finally stopped, Winter's hands were shaking in her lap. It was one of those things she was trying to work through, her fear of explosions.

"So, what are we going to get for-" a waiter arrived with dessert for them. "Surprise!" Serenity clapped her hands together, "Oh, you ordered already! It looks great," Serenity and Elise had ordered them a sampler so that they could try a little bit of every dessert. "It's yummy," Winter had tried a bit of ice cream with the laba cake. It was delicious, especially for someone like her with such a large sweet tooth. "I think all of the food today was too good," as promised, Winter paid for everything. Well, technically Zed paid for everything. It was time to go back for the night, Winter sat across fom them in the carriage, rather tired after a full day of activities. The carriage took them back to Zeus's home, the lights lit up all around the house.

"There she is," Zeus smiled when she stepped out of the carriage. Winter ran to him, giving him a hug. He was her sole family member and even if they sometimes struggled to communicate, Winter loved him. "Welcome Serenity and Elise," he gestured with one arm. "I hope you like Casa De Zeus," he winked. Not flirtingly, just jokingly. They were much too young and flat for Zeus's taste. "We're pretty tired Dad," Winter explained, no doubt the other two wanted to turn in for the night. "Alright, I'll let you three go on to your rooms." He nodded, giving Winter one last hug before leaving them alone. "Goodnight you two," Winter said once she was outside her door. "I'll see you in the morning," she went inside and changed, glad that she had managed to hide her panic attack earlier, although it had made her feel drained.

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Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri
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❝A second return, but what for? And for whom was I brought back?❞

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

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Serenity and Elise made their peace offering of course. They already had a plan set up, though who knows if it would be up to Winter's taste or not. Lissie was definitely an odd nickname though, it hit her head strangely. Most people simply called her El, a nice elegant way to shorten her already high class name. "As long as the plan that we discussed works accordingly, we should be fine." Serenity nodded, a silly grin on her face. Their plan was modest and far from extravagant, but it was still going to be a bridal shower nonetheless. The rest of the dinner was good and caln, and after thanking Winter for the dinner, they returned back to Zeus's palace, watching an awkward interaction between father and daughter. Zeus looked as if he had been struggling. The loss of Iris was hard, but he was surviving.

That moment remained in her mind. When she and Zeus were both dying in the cemetery together. When Elise went off to die against Arke, and Zeus found the will to continue living and fighting on. They shared a glance, that moment striking strong between them. She gave him a slight nod and his mouth twitched in acknowledgment. They were still dealing with the trauma of that day. "I am glad you survived." He said after Serenity and Winter went on ahead to their rooms. Elise raised an eyebrow, feeling strange as he echoed the words back to her. "Did not plan to." She admitted, remembering her fatal wounds of that day. "But I am here now." Stiffly, Elise returned to her room, glancing towards the grey nightstand by the bed. There was a tiny little mechanical mouse, holding a note. "It is ready." A faint smile rose on her face. "Thank you, Svarog. You never fail to deliver."

Morning came then and Serenity was grinning from ear to ear. "Well? Let's go get it ready!" She was already dressed and Elise was donning her clothes that nearly glowed. In fact, her eyes were glowing slightly. "El, your..." Serenity blinked in surprise and the black eagle frowned. "Your eyes. They are brighter than before." Serenity looked at her face in surprise. "You have a wing. You might grow another." It was sticking out awkwardly in her cape. It felt so natural that Elise did not even notice she had it. "These are likely the physical changes to bring about our true selves since becoming Heirs." Elise explained it away quickly. It made her wonder if Winter was changing at all either - though since it was over a year, perhaps she already completed her change. Svarog had horns, Arke's hair was rainbow, Ame's hair was almost like flowing water.

A strange ark was produced, a boat made of sunlight. "This will kill my eyes to look at." Elise sighed, closing her eyes. "This is the Dawn Ark." Serenity explained, beaming. "We'll ride the dawn to the workshop!" Flying in the sky following the arc of the sunrise, they arrived at Mount Thietmar, where Svarog was waiting. "Here. Enjoy your shower." He grinned, clearly drunk out of his mind. "Thank you very much!" Serenity waved, taking the device. Elise glanced at it, looking into the inner machinations for a moment. "It should work as needed. I hope Winter will enjoy the gift." They could not exactly ride the dawn back to Zeus's Palace, since it could only fly in one direction. Elise rolled her eyes, clapping her hands. There was a sudden gust of wind, blowing them high into the air. Serenity began to scream, clinging to her skirt.

"Wh-what are you doing?!" She screeched, flailing in the air. "I am hoping we land safe and sound back at the palace." Elise explained calmly. She was gambling, and it paid off as they somehow through sheer coincidence, landed on the cloud portion of the palace, soft and comfy, cushioning the landing. "Never do that again." Serenity brushed at her skirt, giggling. They returned indoors, hoping to rush back to their beds to pretend they had never gone out at all for when Winter woke up and called them up for breakfast.

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Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Jallet Character Portrait: snow
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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 sleep. Despite her best efforts, Winter tossed and turned, eventually getting out of bed to wander the halls. Zeus was sitting in the living room, reading a book in an ancient language that Winter could not understand. In the living room was a grand piano, one Iris had forced Winter to play for her when she had entertained guests, before Winter had fully moved in with Zed. "The piano hasn't been touched since you left," Zeus said, not looking up from his book. "Did Iris not know how to play it?" She asked, lifting the keylid. "No, she did, but she hated it. Her Mother forced her to learn, so she never enjoyed the piano, but she quite liked listening to you play." Winter nodded, placing her hands down on the keys. She hadn't played in a while, not since the incident with Arke.

"The others have already begun to undergo their changes," Winter said softly, playing a slow and quiet melody so as not to disturb the others. "But I remain unchanged." Zeus looked up from his book, "everyone else has something, so why am I still the same?" He closed his book and rose, sitting beside her on the piano bench. "You were born half an Heir," Zeus said softly, he took one of her hands from the piano, the music coming to an abrupt stop. "So perhaps you were already born in your final form," he lifted her arm and turned it gently so that she could see it. A rainbow sheen on her skin when he held it against the glow. "Or maybe you were already perect," he released her wrist. "Now go and get some rest, you have a big day today and an even bigger one tomorrow." Winter nodded, "Goodnight Dad," he kissed her hair, then nudged her off.

It still sounded so strange, Dad. She had played with a few variations, but none of them felt right. Winter tightened her robe around her as she walked down the empty hall and went to rest in bed, finding that sleep came much easier this time. "Lady Winter, it's time to get up. Lady Winter?" Nemia nudged her, Winter blinking as sunlight filtered into the room. "I've run the bath for you," Nemia said gently. "I brought your favorite soap from home, I hope you don't mind." Winter shook her head and sat up, rubbing sleep from her eyes. "Thank you, that was very thoughtful of you," Nemia beamed underneath the praise. Winter slid from her bed, steeping herself in the tub like a tea bag in hot water. She held her hand up into the light, the large windows allowing the sun to stream into the room.

It glittered, just like last night. She had not been dreaming after all then. Was this her only change? It was somewhat... lame admittedly. Elise was growing wings, she could see the beginnings of a tail sprouting from Serenity. So why sparkly skin? "It's dumb," Winter rose from the tub, wrapping a towel around herself. She allowed Nemia to twist her hair into an intricate coiff and dressed for the bridal shower, hoping that Elise and Serenity were up already. "Lady Winter, breakfast is ready." One of Zeus's staff knocked on the door, "I'll be there in a minute," she looked at her engagement ring, soon it would be joined by a wedding ring. Tomorrow. Her heart fluttered in her chest and she could not help but smile. "I'll see you soon," Winter said to Nemia as she left.

"Good morning," Winter smiled as she joined them at the breakfast table. Her Father was sitting at the head, reading a newspaper. "Good morning my lovely," he gave a short wave and put his paper down. Winter took a seat on his left hand side, the right had been Iris's seat. Even now, it remained empty, a small portion of breakfast placed there out of respect.

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Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri
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❝A second return, but what for? And for whom was I brought back?❞

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

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Today was the day. Elise hoped that everything would go smoothly. She dressed herself a second time that day, finding Nemia waiting by her door, just as expected. The elf gave her a somewhat timid smile, waving her hand. Elise frowned at her single wing, still not sure how to make it fit in her dress. Nemia giggled as she knelt to pick up a black feather. "Looks like you're already moulting." Elise sighed, rolling her eyesa s even Serenity began to laugh until she whacked her tail against the side of the door. "Make sure to have the preparations ready. Here is the box." Elise handed Nemia the holographic box and Nemia hid it carefully in her dress with a secretive smile. "Not a word to Winter, alright? We'll have her distracted for the day." Nemia was nearly blushing. "And here, a signed picture of Carter from when he was a model." Serenity slipped it into the blushing elf's pocket.

"Well, that's step one settled. Let's go get step two ready." Elise nodded, it was vital that this succeeded. They had a job to do and to be frank, Elise knew when she would benefit from the help, especially if it was someone irritating like Serenity. Garrel was making sounds but she drowned them out, focusing purely on the task at hand. "We have a job to do, so better do it right." Serenity giggled, her tail flapping as she walked. "We'll do it and have fun with it!" Serenity stuck her tongue out, running in front until the tripped. Elise groaned and helped her up, the sunshine girl very annoying as she continued beaming. "Come on, smile, live a little!"

"Good morning." Elise and Serenity greeted Winter and Zeus, food already at the table, prepared for them. There was even a little set aside for Iris. "We have a bit of a day today, so we should begin soon." Serenity nodded eagerly, a sparkle in her eye. "Oh? What do you two have planned?" Zeus asked, looking up from the newspaper. "Well, we-" Serenity grinned. "A secret, of course!" As she finished scarfing down the food she pulled on Winter and Elise's arms. "Let's go, there's no time to waste!" Instead of the normal carriage, the Dawn Arc was waiting for them, sparkling and shining in the morning rays, a golden flying boat.

Serenity helped them in, grinning, showing them how to help control it. "Once I have my own staff, they can be my co-pilots. But for now, we can give it her first rest run today!" As the Heir of the Dawn she certainly had new tricks. "Nothing too complicated. Certainly less than the Portal Generator was." Relatively simple controls, perfect for someone like Serenity who did not enjoy overcomplexities. "Let's take ourselves to the portfront, there's something we have to do!" Serenity giggled, the wind rushing into their sails as they rose into the air. They followed the arc of the sun, flying high in the sky. Elise spread out her wing, allowing her feathers to feel the air rushing by.

"Your skin is sparkling slightly." Elise nodded approvingly. "It suits you." A nice subtle touch, just like someone like Winter would have. After about half of hour of flight, they arrived, Serenity bringing them back down to the ground, the Dawn Ark vanishing into sunlight as they landed by the port. Neptune stood, his awful fashion sense still intact. "Welcome! I have a boat ready for you three to rent!" He grinned, flashing a grin under the sunglasses. "Okay. Let us-" She frowned, wondering why Serenity had stopped moving. Were those hearts in her eyes?

"Who is that? She asked, pointing to a tall graceful Heir standing by the dock, dressed in a bikini. "That's Aries, the Heir of the Deep Sea." Her dark skin was deeper than the darkest depths. It was certainly an exotic look. "Holy f*** I think she might be the one! There's something about her, I just can't describe it!" Serenity blushed, swooning instantly. "Breasts." Elise helped, and Serenity shot her a smile. "If she is the sea, I'm the sun, cascading over her waves..." Elise coughed. "You two literally-" There was no time for this, even if Poseidon was entertained. "We are going on a sea cruise. Come, Winter, let us enjoy the waves and leave this idiot here." With tears in her eyes Serenity caught up, and they found themselves in a modest yet small vessel. It would only be a short cruise, but it would be a nice little adventure to keep Winter distracted from the main event.

"I didn't even get to flirt." Serenity wept as she manned the sails. "I might never see her again!" Elise rolled her eyes. "So the wedding is tomorrow." She asked, sitting by Winter. "How are you feeling? Are you excited?" The salt ocean spray was a pleasant scent as they entered the open sea.

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Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Jallet Character Portrait: snow
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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 ||




"Oh, we're leaving already?" Serenity was tugging on her arm. "Bye Dad, I'll see you later." Zeus waved as Serenity pulled Winter and Elise out the door. "Where are we going? Or is it all a surprise?" Serenity hushed Elise whenever she tried to spill. They ended up in Serenity's new ride, Winter wondering where it had come from. She sat on one of the seats next to the window, Nemia having insisted on staying behind for some reason. "This is nice," Winter admired as they flew. Elise commented on her skin, that it was sparkling. Winter blushed, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. She wanted to cut it, but Nemia had insisted that Iris would have wanted it long for the wedding, so the length would stay. For now.

It took an hour and a half to reach the port. Neptune was waiting there, having expected them. "Do you two even know how to sail a boat?" Winter asked as he greeted them. "Ah, my little niece! How are things going?" He asked, ruffling her hair. Winter gave a polite smile, fixing the hair that Nemia had worked so hard to style for her. "Everything is going well, how is the ocean?" He gestured with an arm out around him, "It's going well, as you can see. Enjoy the day, you three." Serenity suddenly made an unholy noise, gawking at one of Neptune's assistants. Winter shook her head, it wasn't behavior befitting an Heir, but Serenity was still mostly human. She glanced at the tail growing out of Serenity's behind, it was fwapping through the air, the sound audible it was going so fast.

It was Elise that drew Siri out of her reverie and dragged her towards the boat. Winter was careful as she got on, taking off her shoes since they might get wet. She placed them in the dry well, not having expected to go on a boat. The sails unfurled, catching wind quickly. Off they went, the anchor lifted so that they could sail outwards. Elise sat beside her, wanting to know how she was feeling. "Nervous, mostly. I'm excited, don't get me wrong, sometimes I just wonder... if this was the life I was meant to live, you know?" She loved Zed, but if she had stayed on earth, she couldn't help but wonder what would have happened. Winter looked up at the sky, which was impossibly blue. It was a beautiful day out today, it almost always seemed to be a beautiful day out in Olympia. Except when Zeus was upset, then the skies turned a cloudy gray and it would downpour until something was resolved.

"I guess it's no use wondering, right?" Winter smiled, "I like it here. I've always felt like the Boundary was my home," she never would have returned to earth if it wasn't for Elise forcing her to the first time. It almost seemed like karma that they would all end up back here. Well, Serenity was joining them this time too. Carter as well. How were the boys doing? Winter couldn't help but wonder. She hoped that they weren't too much of a headache for Zed to handle. "How do you think Claude is doing?" Winter tried to ask instead, wondering if it was still a sore subject for Elise, who seemed to have a deep dislike for Jasmine.

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Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri
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❝A second return, but what for? And for whom was I brought back?❞

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

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







While Serenity struggled to control the sails and get them moving to enjoy the sea spray and the sights, Elise and Winter sat close enough to help if they needed to. It was a chance to talk a little and see how Winter was doing. That was something a maid of honor could do, right? Well, there was no reason why none of them could do it, but it was simply something she felt would be suitable. "There is no reason why we cannot see her again after we are done the mini cruise." Elise rolled her eyes at Serenity's theatrics as she began to spout poems about her affection for Aries. She turned back to Winter, seeing how she was doing. Her skin was almost sprinkling little sparkles onto the water as they sped across the waves.

Winter liked it here. She felt that she was always meant to be here. "That is good. I am glad you found a place." One that suited her. As much as Elise liked to think Winter could have one day been a Hresvelg, life as a stuffy noble would not have suited her. While she was still considered something like nobility here, it was different. More expectations one way, less in other ways. And of course, she had Zed on this side of the veil as well. Winter brought the topic to someone else then. To Claude. "He will be fine." She said almost wistfully. She knew it of course, even back then. "He had moved on already. He found his own happiness." Jasmine and his daughter with her, Soraya. "Soraya's a cutie. She's gonna grow up to be a beauty." Serenity said, sticking out her tongue. "Can you not make comments about my niece like that?" The black eagle huffed, hissing in annoyance.

They crested a wave, then found themselves with a new sight before their eyes. "Ame told us about this place, so we wanted to see if we could find it." Serenity grinned, looking out to the distance. There was a large pearl-colored rock, almost like a floating shrine, giving off a strange sound. "This is where the Nereids go to communicate with those from the surface." The merfolk who lived under the sea spoke through the rock. It was almost like a giant conch shell, a concert hall rising from the sea, standing strong and tall. Music, a beautiful singing, was the soundtrack as the tides rose and fell. "Right now only Poseidon's boats are allowed into Nereid waters, so there are many who may never get the chance to hear their song."

A light, yet haunting melody. It almost sounded like a love song. "So do you guys think I have a chance with Aries?" Serenity asked, grinning. "I'm pretty bosom. I'm tall, shapely. But she's just on a whole other level, do I really have a chance?" Elise was annoyed again. "Why are you asking me?" She stiffened, back straight as she maintained the mask of elegance. "Only you would know the answer after trying." It was improper for her to be acting like this. "This is being alive! I bet you've never blushed for Ezra before, El! Winter knows, she knows what true love is." Blushing? But that would be humiliating. "There is no need to. Ezra knows how I feel without requiring me to..." Serenity shook her head, giggling. For some reason, it annoyed the black eagle even more.

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Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Jallet Character Portrait: snow
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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 ||




They stopped in front of what at a first glance, appeared to be a giant pearl. Winter fell silent, able to hear the music from the surface. She had been sensing strange vibrations from around them for a few miles, but had said nothing, not wanting to spoil the surprise. Winter closed her eyes in order to hear it better, a smile coming to her face. Their sogn was otherworldly. Not haunting, but beautiful. It reminded Winter of the ocean breeze. Their voices carried on the wind, the boat lulling back and forth gently. It almost made Winter sleepy. "I love it," it was a nice surprise. Not something Winter had expected either, which was refreshing. "Thanks you two," she smiled. Winter found herself smiling much more often than before.

"Winter, you're crying." Serenity said suddenly, leaning over to wipe the tears off of Winter's face. "I am?" Winter blinked, not having realized it. Her vision blurred slightly and her eyes began to stung. "I guess... I'm just happy." They were happy tears, "I used to feel so trapped and now... I truly feel free. It's amazing, isn't it?" She felt her heart flutter in her chest, "To be free," the music had suddenly stopped, the Nereids having finished their song. Was this all they had in store? Winter didn't know. "That was really fun, thank you for bringing me out here." She clapped when the song had finished, unknowing if the nereids could hear them.

If there was something that she didn't understand, it was her own heart. Winter's emotions were still a maze that she was attempting to navigate. She felt numb some days, while others were entirely too overwhelming for her to handle. It was an adjustement, that was certain. Perhaps that was why she was struggling with what would happen tomorrow. That and Winter had never expected to live this long. Some part of her had always expected to die under the Doctor's care. She had almost died plenty of times, but for some reason, she was still alive. Did she deserve to live while so many others had died? Did she deserve this second, third chance? Why was she thinking all of this the day before what was supposed to be the happiest day of her life?

"We have more surprises in store," Serenity said, turning the boat around. It hadn't taken them too long to get here, if the wind was on their side, it wouldn't take that long to get back. "Can I have a hint?" Winter asked, holding her hands together in her lap to hide the slight shaking in them.

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Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri
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❝A second return, but what for? And for whom was I brought back?❞

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

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







The ship was still as they waited for the song of the Nereids to run to it's completion. It was a nice peaceful moment, and Elise and Serenity, although fairly opposite to one another, were glad that at least the first part of the day was a success. The gentle rise and fall of the waves sliding against the side of the boat was almost rhythmic, as if the nereids singing through the conch rock had crafted the song to go perfectly with the ebb and flow. As Winter thanked them tears began to spill from her eyes. Elise remained quiet as Serenity pointed it out, and Winter did not even seem to realize she had been crying. Serenity walked carefully over so as to not imbalance the boat, and Elise attempted to shift out of the way when the sunny maiden pulled her in as well, a three person hug. Elise's face was stuck against Serenity's large bosom as the group hug lasted for a few seconds after the song's end.

"Shall we go then?" Elise pulled a silver coin out of her pocket and flipped it into the water to thank the nereids for the performance, as Poseidon advised them to. Bad things could happen to those that did not pay respects. "We still have a few tricks up our sleeve!" Serenity giggled, climbing her way back to the front to man the sails again. They returned to shore, with the wind at their backs, arriving with the ship as Poseidon gave them a few claps. "Welcome back, I hope you liked it! It's hard to make them agree to sing for travelers, but it's a hidden gem, isn't it?" Serenity finished bringing the boat to the docks then thanked Poseidon intensely. Ame gave Elise a little wave, she was suntanning spread-eagled on the dock. "See you tomorrow, Winter!" Ame called. "I'm excited to see you!" Serenity had gone to flirt with Aries, the ebony beauty, and Elise sighed. "We can relax a little, the next trip may be a little stressful for you, Winter."

Because the next location was not in the direction of the sun's arc, they needed to take a different method. Once Serenity returned, a grin on her face and a number pocketed into her coat, she smiled. "Well, Elise, are you ready to take us to the next surprise?" The black eagle frowned a little. It was thankful that she was so perceptive, and hopefully she was still able to think quickly as well. "Kore just informed me that our first choice is now available." She said with an easy lie. Serenity looked a little surprised for a moment. "Create the Ark again, and we can change plans to the original." They were supposed to go for a thrill ride in the sky, almost like a rollercoaster but much more intense, but the shaking in Winter's hands gave her a bad idea.

Serenity slowly nodded, then snapped her fingers, the Dawn Ark appearing before their eyes again, in sparkling glory. They climbed on and with the three of them on controls, began manning it again. "We are to approach the Sentinel Tower, Winter, so make sure to keep the wheel steered in that direction." Serenity hid a smile, glad to know Elise knew what she was doing. The trio chased after the sun as they flew the Dawn Ark in the sky, leaving Olympus to land atop the Sentinel Tower. "I will get us ready, Serenity, Winter, relax here for a little." Elise entered her old home and found Kore, giggling to herself as if she were watching the whole time. Elise filled her in and the Heir of Mercy smiled, happy to oblige.

Returning to the top floor where the Dawn Ark landed, Kore and Elise returned. "We are going to have a special kind of therapy today, involving the mist of memory and the fog of forgetfulness. Come with me." Kore lead them down the stairs to a chamber, hidden, at the very top of the Sentinel Tower. It was shrouded nearly entirely by the white mist, making the area feel far more spacious than it might be. "Here, we take those with stress, with doubts, with fears, and provide a sense of calm." Kore explained as they dressed in the white robes for the ceremony. "This is the Ceremony of Mercy, to soothe and heal, to provide calm and peace, to all who enter." She giggled. "To help make sure you're in perfect shape for the wedding, my dear!"

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Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Jallet Character Portrait: snow
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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 ||




Serenity steered the sailboat back towards the docks, but not before flipping a coin into the waters. They told her to relax, saying that the next part might be a bit stressful. What did that mean? Winter wondered. "Alright, I'll try to relax." She promised, undoing the braid in her hair to let it flow in the wind. She dipped a hand into the water as they sailed, the atmosphere quiet. It wasn't a bad thing though, sometimes silence between friends could be a good thing. After all, you didn't have to fill up every moment with talking and laughter. The quiet times were sometimes the most memorable. Winter almost found herself falling asleep, the lull of the boat, combined with the salty ocean breeze making her feel at ease. When they landed back at the dock, Poseidon was waiting for them. "Thank you, it was really nice of you to arrange this." He smiled, giving her a thumb's up. "Anything for my niece," Winter turned to Elise and Serenity then.

"Where to next?" They were heading back onto the Arc, which Winter thought a bit strange. She had expected them to arrange something fast paced, but it seemed like plans were changing. "Oh, okay, I'll steer it then." Winter stood at the helm this time, Elise and Serenity guiding her. She could see the Sentinel Tower in the distance, growing slowly closer. Winter's curiosity continued to grow as well, what were these two planning? She couldn't tell. Elise took the steering wheel, allowing Winter to have a break. Winter sat in one of the chairs, Serenity showing Winter a paper. "I think I've figured out what I'm going to do once I get my house," she smiled. "So I can get out of your's and Zed's hair faster." Winter looked at the paper, at Serenity's detailed plan.

"Oh, it's no trouble having you. It's nice to have everyone together again," Winter smiled. "I know, but I kind of need to plant my roots and spread my wings, you know?" Winter nodded, although a small part of her couldn't help but feel sad. "I think you just want to impress Aries," she joked, nudging Serenity. Siri giggled, "well, I'm going to make my house into a haven for all women." She stretched her arms out and suddenly tapped Winter on the nose. "Including you," Winter crossed her arms. "Thanks for the invitation, but Zed isn't exactly the kind of guy I would need to run away from." Serenity shrugged, "You never know. He might just be using you for your body," she suddenly grabbed Winter's chest. "There's not much there, he could secretly be a lolicon." Winter slapped Serenity's hands away, her cheeks turning pink as she folded her arms over her chest for protection. "I think you're the only pervert here!"

The Arc stopped suddenly, Elise announcing their arrival. "Oh, already?" Winter rose, Kore coming to greet them. They followed her out of the Arc and into a room full of white mist. "It was that obvious, wasn't it?" Winter asked quietly, having tried to hide the shaking in her hands. She held one of her wrists, hoping that it would stop. "Thank you Kore, it's really nice of you to do this." How did this therapy work? What did it entail? She looked to Elise, did El even know? Or had she just brought them here thinking that it would help?

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Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri
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❝A second return, but what for? And for whom was I brought back?❞

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

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Elise saw the process before of course so she knew about it and knew what to expect. She had seen a few souls undergo the Mist Therapy before, and watched as they were relieved of their pain and their suffering. "Heh." Garrel sneered in her head, a constant presence on her conscience. "So why haven't you gotten rid of me yet? It's because you know all I say is true, right?" The emptiness, the hatred, the guilt. It all of course was true, and she did not need a voice in her head telling her that. Who even was she? She was a mask that the others decided that they liked. But even so, she needed to at least be okay for the wedding. Even if it meant getting rid of the voice of truth in her head, she could still know what the truth was despite that.

Kore nodded and even Serenity seemed a bit more relaxed as they walked through what appeared to be a field full of mist and flowers. You could almost forget that you were at the top of the Sentinel Tower. "It will be okay. I am sure the rainbow roller coaster will be available again next year." Elise said to Winter with a slight smile, nodding. "It was my former Servant's request, and a gift for the new Lady of Olympia, how could I say no?" Kore offered a gracious smile, then closed her eyes. "This ceremony is one that allows the dead and fallen to release their regrets, doubts, and pains into the mist and to be cleansed." Gone was the normal silly Kore, this was the Heir of Mercy showing exactly what her profession was. "So that all souls may one day be cleansed and begin anew."

Elise took a deep breath and sat down, allowing herself to relax. This was like a cleansing, except for the soul rather than for the body. Kore began a chant of some old ancient language, and it felt almost as if the flowers and grass was growing around them, embracing her. Although the language was impossible to know, somehow, they all knew it regardless. Think of a regret. A fear. A doubt, the lyrics spoke. Bring them to the top of your mind. Her empty self, a mask with no face. A broken eagle with black wings, a crown she no longer deserved. Claude, alone on Earth, left behind as the last Hresvelg. She could see them all clearly as if her eyes were open, the mist taking the shape of those loose threads.

The song was in an unknown language but they could all understand it. "Touch them." Kore chanted. "Accept them, destroy them, do whatever feels right." Elise knew what she needed to do. She reached for the mask, breaking it with her hands, the mist dispersing. Already she could feel it. She might be an empty shell, but maybe it was okay. The pain was numbed by the mist. It no longer hurt - it simply was. She reached for the eagle, and pulled it in. The pain returned, stronger and sharp. It was something she would have to work on. She would need to earn that part of her back. Last was Claude. She took a deep breath and blew him away. The pain faded, feeling less like a vice and more like an old wound. She was letting go of it. He had his own life. And she had her own responsibilities now.

The ceremony was over. Elise opened her eyes, not realizing she had fallen asleep. Most souls did for one last rest before ascending to the next stage. Serenity was still in tears - no doubt many of her struggles had to do with her family that she lost and could not protect. She lost them all during the apocalypse. "Thank you very much, Kore." The Heir of Mercy nodded gracefully. "Any time, my dear Servant. You're welcome here whenever you wish." She was not a servant anymore, but it still felt nice.

"How did it go?" Elise asked Winter and Serenity, feeling calmer and firmer than before. Maybe she was empty, but maybe it was just an opportunity to become whatever she wanted. "Did it help you two?"

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Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Jallet Character Portrait: snow
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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 ||




They sat in a circle, the three of them about six feet apart from one another. Kore stood in the center, beginning a chant. The mist began to swirl around them, the flowers and grass pulling in their direction. Winter felt suddenly exhausted, her eyes drifting shut. Her body slumped in the grass, curled up in a ball. When Winter opened up her eyes, she was alone. The room had become covered in mist so thick, she could barely see an inch in front of her. "What is this?" Winter asked, looking around the room. "You're still holding onto us," her Grandparents stood in front of her. "What do you mean? Of course I'm holding onto you," Winter stepped forward, something told her not to go closer. "Winter, it's time to let go. Our death was not your fault," Winter's hands balled into fists. "You were just a child, you can't live with this guilt." Maybe in some ways, she still was a child. She was just wearing the shoes of an adult, pretending to know what she was doing.

"I love you, both of you, I can't just let go." Her Grandparents wrapped their arms around her, they were hugging her. "We're not asking you to forget us Winter, but stop living in the past. It's time to start moving towards the future. Alright?" Winter nodded, there were tears running down her face. "After all, tomorrow you're going to go through a revolution." What did that mean? Winter wasn't sure. What was tomorrow? She wasn't sure, her mind was foggy. "Winter, it's time," Winter nodded and she knew it to be true. She had to let go of this burden that she was carrying. "I love you," Winter whispered. "There isn't a day that goes by where we don't think of you," Winter nodded. She took in a deep breath and when she released it, they disappeared.

She started walking through the mist, wondering if this was the right way. Her foot hit something, she knelt down to lift it up. It was a tag, it almost looked like a hospital bracelet, but made of metal. Winter had been forced to wear this as a child while living in the government building. She crushed it in her fists, anger overcoming her for a moment. The bracelet turned into mist, disappearing and she felt just a little bit lighter. She continued to walk, wishing that she had a map of some sort. Suddenly Winter was standing at a ledge, looking down at earth. What was she supposed to do? She tried to walk around it, but there was no other way to go. "No more if's," Winter clapped her hands together, drawing energy into them. "Thunder clap," she pulled her hands back, slamming her palms together in a force that knocked the illusion away. "No more regrets. From now on, I'm going to walk this path that I've chosen, not because anyone else wants me to, but because I want to."

Winter suddenly bolted upright in the grass. She felt lighter somehow, her mind less plagued by whatever thoughts she had previously had. How did she feel? Winter looked at her hands, at her dress, stained with green grass. "I feel better," she rose and dusted herself off. Serenity had tears in her eyes, no doubt having had a heavy session. "Thank you Kore," Winter smiled. She turned to Elise, "How do you feel?" Any lighter? Winter certainly hoped so. "Well, that worked up an appetite." Serenity smiled, "I think we should go grab something to eat." Winter turned towards Kore again, waving as they walked out. "I could really go for some sushi," Winter yawned, stretching. She felt wide awake, but tired at the same time.

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Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri
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❝A second return, but what for? And for whom was I brought back?❞

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

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







The three of them had dispelled some of their loose ends still clinging to them, still holding on. Regrets in life, things lost to them they could never get back. Mist therapy was designed to help anyone move on and be ready to be cleansed and made anew. They weren't given the full process, but it was enough. Elise nodded, holding her head higher, a calm and steady look in her ruby eyes. "More like myself." She assured Winter and Serenity, who gave a bright smile. "It was hard to say goodbye again. But I think this was for the best. El this really was a great idea." There seemed to be more life in Winter's eyes now. The black eagle gazed downwards toward Winter's soft delicate hands, designed to expertly play any instrument. No more shaking. She seemed firmer now.

"Well, the bride made her wish! Where can we get sushi?" Serenity asked, glancing back at Elise as they loaded back into the Dawn Ark, looking for their next destination. Did Serenity not do that much research at all? Elise sighed, rolling her eyes. "I have an idea. Let us go." She glanced at the Dawn Ark and shook her head. "We are going against the sun's path, so we cannot ride the easy way this time. Hold hands." After Elise and Winter locked hands with her the black eagle put her hands together, and there was a sudden burst of wind shooting them outwards. "Aaah!" Serenity giggled. "Hold onto your hems!" They were blasted into the air at record speed, shooting them in some random direction. Elise was calm, allowing the wind to take them wherever it may. Eventually they found landed on a tuft of hay by a marketplace.

A seaside scent. Plenty of business. People coming in and out. Aromatic smells from all directions. Elise stood up, brushing herself off. They must have been going miles and miles now, because this was a different sea from where Poseidon and Aries were. "A food market! It looks so nice! The trees are pink!" She looked over at Elise then, blinking. "Wait, but this isn't sushi." There was lots of fish and other ingredients, there was some kind of sticky rice, and even seaweed papers they could use. "Why would we? If the ingredients are here, then a restaurant will be too." After some looking around they eventually found one, a sushi parlor with strange and exotic flavors Elise had never seen before.

It would be a special treat from the opposite side of the Boundary. There was something like a portal that took them up to the clouds, a floating palace waiting for them. Elise found herself face to face with a familiar face. "C-Chikyu?!" Ezra's former Heir was here for some reason. The tall busty Heir nodded and smiled. "Welcome to Edesia. I'm taking care of the shop for now while my Master works in the kitchen as her intern." She was undergoing training to try and promote too then. "It's nice to meet you. You're really cute." Serenity giggled, grinning. Chikyu nodded respectfully. "It is nice to see all of you again. Shall I take you to your tables?" Elise nodded, pointing. "Three, please. With a window view, if possible."

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Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Jallet Character Portrait: snow
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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, are you up?" Nemia knocked lightly on the door. Winter was sitting by the window, staring out over the cliffs. "Yes, I'm up." Today was the big day, she rose, heading to the bathroom. Winter felt a fluttering in her chest. She was never nervous, so what was this? Winter didn't know. She sank into the bath, the warm water enveloping her. Winter didn't have much time to wash up, she had somewhere to be, after all. "No makeup today," she said as she opened the door to the bathroom, wearing the robe with her name embroidered in gold. "Alright," Nemia agreed. Winter sat down in the chair to get ready, glancing at the gift she ahd been given from Serenity and Elise. Made by Svarog, Winter had thought about using it, but had placed it down instead. Too much temptation, she thought.

Winter was fasting, she wasn't supposed to see anyone except for a servant on her way to the temple. She would meet Serenity and Elise at the wedding hall. "Ready?" Nemia asked, leading Winter to the carriage. She wore a hood over her face and looked down, the fluttering in her stomach and chest growing worse by the minute. "I feel like I can't breathe," Winter leaned her head back against the carriage, her eyes closed. Nemia reached over, placing a hand over Winter's. "It's going to be alright, you're just anxious." Winter nodded, swallowing hard. The temple was intimidating. Zed would be here as well, on the opposite side so that they could not see each other. Which servant had he taken with him? Probably Rex, his right hand.

"Winter Matsuri, you are here to be purified before you wed?" Winter nodded. "This way," the temple attendants were the servants of Michia, the Heir of Purity. Inside, Winter was doused with cold water and checked for blemishes. She then had oil dabbed on her body and finally, had to recite a prayer for purity. After that, she was brushed down with an olive branch and then allowed to redress. It was a strange process, but a requirement. Winter felt light headed, but she could not break her fast until the wedding. They headed to the wedding hall next, where Serenity and Elise were waiting. "How was it?" Serenity asked, looking as vibrant as ever. Elise had her arms crossed and was leaning against a wall. "It was a little strange," Winter admitted. They headed up to the bridal suite, where there was a team of makeup artists and hair stylists to help them get ready.

"This is going to be so much fun!" Serenity squealed, sitting down in a chair. "Knock, knock. Surprise," Mercedes arrived, dressed in her earthly clothes. "You came!" Winter smiled, "Of course I did. Oliver is here too," she entered the bridal suite, wearing a leather jacket and jeans. "Mercy, are you really planning on wearing that?" Serenity asked. Mercedes looked down at her clothing, "what's wrong with them?" She asked, frowning. "You look awful! You can't go to a wedding like that, good thing I predicted this and brought you a dress." Winter laughed, getting back into the chair after a quick hug. She was having her nails done, she would do her hair next, then be last for makeup so that she could have the freshest face. Nemia stood in the back, eating from the pastry cart, since there was nothing else for her to do.

"It's time for the dress," Winter clapped her hands together. Iris should have been here to zip her up, she should have been here to advise her, but she was dead. Winter unzipped the garment bag, it was the first time seeing her dress as a whole. It was off the shoulder, with puffy sleeves made of delicate lace. It had boning and a full skirt and train with lace and small diamonds sewn on. "It's beautiful," Winter whispered. "Let me help you in!" Serenity offered, "Elise, do you want to zip it?" Winter asked, giving her the honors. Looking at herself in the mirror, Winter felt her nerves melt away. This felt right, she realized, as though everything in her life had led up to this moment. Her hands balled in determination, "Nemia, my earrings." Nemia brought over the jewelry box.

"This is it," she breathed. "We'll see you on the other side," Mercedes waved. The music began to play, Winter stood behind the closed doors, waiting. Finally, she heard her cue. The doors opened, everyone rising as she began to walk down the aisle. Winter smiled, wanting to cry. This was it, the moment she had been waiting for was finally here. Zed stood at the end, underneath an arch full of roses and tulle. He was smiling, his eyes glistening. Had they been thinking the same thing? Winter thought. She was close now, stepping on flower petals from her bridesmaids. Winter walked up the two steps, onto the stage, where Zed and Zeus stood. Zed lifted the veil from over her face, his smile the biggest she had ever seen. "Ready?" He asked softly, taking her hand. She nodded.

"Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today," Zeus began, officiating the wedding. "Zed, do you take Winter to be your lawfully wedded wife. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, in Heirship and afterlife?" Zed nodded, "I do." Zues turned and repeated the sentence to Winter. "I do," she laughed, the urge bubbling up inside of her chest. "Please exchange rings," the bands were matching gold, with a pattern engraved that fit into one another. They exchanged rings, then, their wrists were tied together with red string. "I now pronounce you husband and wife."

The next day was the coornation. Winter awoke curled up in Zed's side, she was tiny compared to him. "Winter, it's time." Zed kissed her forehead, murmuring into her hair. "One more minute," they were both nude, laying against each other under the covers. It was a little awkward, for both of them at first. Neither were experienced in this area, but they had figured it out. Winter was sore, but there wasn't time to complain. "Morning," he kissed her on the lips. She crawled on top of him, pressing her chest against his. "I love you," Winter whispered as he stroked her cheek. "I love you more than life," he replied, nuzzling his head into the crook of her neck. A knock on the door startled. "D-don't come in!" Winter pulled the blanket against them. "It's time to get ready," Nemia chided.

"We'll be out in a moment," Zed promised. They scrambled to put on their pajamas, Nemia and Rex entering to drag them to their prespective stations. Winter's coornation outift was almost as extraordinary as her wedding dress. Iris had planned it for her, of course. "You look stunning," Zed took her hand, leading her to breakfast. "You look great," he was wearing a matching white suite with silver embellishments. "Morning you too!" Ezra waved, "Did you finally do the deed?" Carter punched him in the shoulder, Winter's cheeks turned pink. "Ezra, shut up!" He laughed, nearly choking on bacon. "We have to leave right after this, if you're not ready, you're going to get left behind."

The carriage ride there was short, but full of nerves. Winter and Zed rode together, the others taking a second carriage. "Are you nervous?" Winter placed a hand over his, their rings touching. "Not at all, how about you?" He asked, reaching out to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear. "Never," she replied with a smile. They walked up the steps, the two of them holding hands. All of Olympia and then some had turned out today to watch the cooronation. "We are gathered here today!" Zeus's voice boomed out through the microphone, "for a historic moment! From today onwards, I step down as Leader and King of Olympia!" He gestured behind him, where Zed and Winter stood. "I hand over the reigns to my successor and son in law, Zed of Archenia." He stepped forward, kneeling in front of Zeus. Zeus removed his crown, placing it on Zed's head.

Winter knelt down as well, but instead of receiving her crown from Iris, Zeus lifted it from a pillow. "Your Mothers in the Far Show watch over you," he said softly, his microphone still on. He placed the crown on Winter's head, the weight of it surprisingly heavy. "From here, Olympia looks towards the future!"