His life had been spent passing the inn, an empty building nestled away, door closed to the public, unwelcoming enough even vagabonds wouldn’t seek refuge within.
Haru wasn’t sure what called his eyes to the open door, maybe it was a familiar voice, maybe a song, maybe a laugh, the sounds within familiar, pulling at his heart, they didn’t belong here, they had passed on, they deserved their peace. His feet turned with no active decision made on his own, a greeting to the man within, before his breath caught in his throat, the place wasn’t busy, only a handful of seats filled, among them a couple, a man and woman, of Korean descent, laughing and smiling at each other, love in their eyes. A tear rolled down the young mans face before he could think, before he could stop it, the shadows dancing with the flames on his horns, red eyes meeting the matching set of his mother’s.
Her eyes caught his, gesturing to one of the open seats across from them, “Come sit, join us for a meal, it’s been to long.” Her voice like music, her hand stretching across to rest on his as he slid into a seat, they spoke first on small talk, the family that he had built around himself, before saying what he needed to hear, “You chose right you know… giving it up,” The fight about his work, making him choose between the feelings he didn’t understand and the life he’d always known, “The life was killing you, you could have gone even further from the boy we knew…” her eyes were sad, a hand coming across the table, resting on his cheek, “I know you did what you had to in order to live, but you can rest, fall in love, be who you want to become, you have the chance to do right Haru,” a small smile graced her lips, “That feeling you’re feeling, listen to it, she is choosing you, even though it’s faster than is normal, it doesn’t make what you’re feeling less valid, choose to take a chance, open your heart completely, you need her.”
The words registered, the boy first taken by the hand on his, tears flowing freely, for a second feeling once more like the five year old kid who had lost his family before he could start school, waking up from a bad dream, his parents by blood sitting in front of him. He shook his head at them, listening to the words, “She left me with every tool to do it, the location, my weapons, but instead she trusted me, that’s why I’m here, she gave me the chance to betray her again, to break another promise, Mom…” the name whispered slightly, voice cracking, “I considered it, I didn’t tell her but I considered doing it anyway and lying, how could I after making that promise to her, this was supposed to be different.”
His father reaches across the table, his face shape matching his sons, melted chocolate eyes meeting Haru’s carmine ones, “You chose not to do it, is that not different? You made the choice to be better, does that not make you better?”
A crack, the boy hearing those words, even now barely believing them, but he had chosen a different path, a different path from the one he had embraced for so long, he wasn’t a tool, or the monster he had been forced into becoming, he had wanted this change for so long, and now he had it. His eyes moved between the duo, first to his mother, realizing the answer to a point she had made, “I don’t want to be with her because I need her mom… I know I don’t need her to survive, I want her, I want to choose her, so if she doesn’t want to choose me I can be ok with that and watch her be happy.” His gaze rests on his father, “Maybe it does… I…” for a moment the boy seems uncertain, “I hope I can hold true to it…” his mind wandered for a second, how long had he been here? Was she worried he broke his promise?
Those hands pull away as a clock chimes, his mother speaking as though she was reading his mind, “Don’t worry. She’s still waiting for you. She hasn’t gone. Go home and go to Earth. That’s where it always begins, after all. But she’s impatient, and tired of making you wait, so go to her now.” The words were cryptic, nonsense to those who couldn’t see it, “We’ll see you next time.”
The lights of the inn faded, until it was just a boy, crying alone at a table, the final goodbyes spoken as he got up, eyes travelling back just once, before his feet carried him home, she was waiting after all.
((OOC NOTE : Special thanks to Wylinna Newhaven for helping me edit this))
Stepping free of the portal was a young man, dressed in a simple all black suit, his black hair combed neatly, no gel, his eyes cast down.
His steps first leading him up that familiar path, towards the stairs first, his body steering him where he had last gone, before he stops, looking towards that coffin, towards his family, changing his course, stopping near the back of the gathering crowd, listening to the words spoken.
“Everything ends… and it’s always sad… but everything begins again… and that’s always happy.” He mutters to himself, barely audible to any but him, echoing the words Gramps had said about this, “Love you Grandpa, I’ll see ya later, you still owe me cooking lessons…” His voice breaks slightly at the whispers, he hoped somewhere, Federov could hear his words, even if he didn’t speak at the podium.
Name: Haru Jeong
Nicknames: Cheshire or The Cheshire Cat(Used in very specific circumstances), Kitty Cat Tamer (Fauve only), Crazy Cat Boy.
Appears: mid to late teens
Birthdate: July 1st
Eyes: Normally a darker red, can vary to chocolate brown.
Height: 5’3 (and a half if you ask him)
Skin Tone: Pale
Weight/Build: Roughly 110 pounds, Athletic build
Face Claim: Won Jong Jin
Scars/Tattoos: Haru has an intricate magic tattoo on his back, and much of his body has scars from duelling, though there are a few that have been deliberately faded with magic, can be seen if looked for.
Orientation: Disaster Pansexual
Relationship Status: Taken by Wylinna Newhaven.
Favourite Drink: half and half milkshake, Chocolate/Strawberry
Favourite Foods: Literally anything spicy, the more mouth melting the better.
Favourite Music: He’ll tell you metal, but he’s a sucker for sappy love songs.
Occupation: Cafe Owner and duelist (Rhydin). Mechanic (Earth).
Former Occupation: Criminal, thief and assassin (Assassin is not common knowledge.)
Hobbies/Interests: Learning, adopting cats, spoiling the people he cares about, duelling, pulling pranks and general chaos.
Strengths: Pyromancy, Magic, Magic theory, and he likes to think he’s good at making friends.
Weaknesses: Reading, asking for help, cooking, taking in strays, and an inability to say no if the request would make a person he cares about smile.
Skills: Mage and Roguish talents, specializes in fire and daggers though can use other weapons based on situation.
Special Abilities: Haru is a pyromancer, and can cast shapechange to turn into a red eyed Siamese cat, as well as short range teleportation, anything long distance he requires help.
IC Background: ((OOC NOTE : Gonna keep this as what’s common knowledge, and keep it short.))
Haru grew up on the streets, orphaned when he was around five years old, and separated from his older sister (Byeol Jeong), he bounced at first from foster home to foster home until he found a group of street rats to hide with, his case worker eventually giving up and assuming the troubled boy was gone for good. Most of his childhood was spent alongside a boy only a few months younger than him, (Eun Lee) until he was assumed dead at age 15, after an attempt to escape the life they had fallen into. The boys were criminals, both acting as bait, Haru taking the role of the killer to protect Eun from having to do it, and later out of habit, some routine, the thievery went alongside to the pair could afford the lifestyles they led, as meager as they were, cuts from their pay being taken by those above them in the food chain.
The pattern continued until June 21st, when Haru first appeared in the dragon, introducing himself and being a smart ass to the group within, escaping bad weather and sleeping down in the Annex, it was the next day when he met Alik Murphy, after trying to rob him, instead being taken in, given a better chance at survival, and a much needed shower. The boys bonded fast, a gratitude from Haru quickly becoming a mix of hero worship and obsession, rejoining the underworld even after he had wanted to be better, and falling back into the life he left behind, all because Alik asked. He adopted the name Cheshire for the purpose of business, as he could blend into nearly any crowd for a job, using magic and tricks. Simultaneously being adopted into a family, a dream he had always had, but never could see it becoming a reality.
Recently, however, the criminal lifestyle became to much, and Haru came to grips that what he felt was not in fact love, but an obsession, and he chose to leave, the condition given to Alik to clean up his life if he wanted a chance to have Haru back. It only took a month for Haru to know that couldn’t happen again, and in an unexpected turn of events, a casual thing turned serious. Now he is currently trying to make sure he doesn’t fall into the same hole he just escaped, and be better.
- Junior Adventurer
- Posts: 10
- Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:50 pm
- Location: New Market District
It had been nearly thirty years since her family moved to the south lands for work and space. The wide open spaces of the farmlands and the intimate familiarity of a rural town had been such an attractive draw to her parents. Much better for raising children thank the hustle and bustle of the city, so they thought. A chance for the wood elf family to return to the land and the magic of nature.
The tips of her fingers ran along the stone walls and the iron gates. There was power here. Not just the essence of the Wilds, nor the subtle tremors of the Nexus. The city itself was alive. It hummed and purred with the breath of a hundred thousand souls. It drew upon sacred geometries and powerful pulses of the mind itself. The tag of spray paint on the side of the warehouse was a glyph of power. The Wall was a ward against danger. The City was her home.
She found a discarded piece of chalk. She knelt down and picked it up, pushing back a lock of snow-white hair that had fallen in her face. The wall of the store before her was clean and smooth, a brick structure no older than she was. The face of the cornerstone was larger than her hand. She idly drew lines and curves on the surface, a sudden jolt of inspiration upon her.
She felt the presence behind her mere seconds before she heard the voice. “I'd prefer if you don't leave curses on a building I have so recently obtained.” Linna stood and turned, startled from her reverie by the woman who stood admiring the drawing upon the wall.
“I'm sorry, the sign said vacant and I didn't know someone had moved in. I didn't mean harm or anything.” The woman before her looked fae were it not for the ears, younger than Linna was, but with a look of experience that outweighed her own. Brilliant red hair was tied back in a short ponytail and violet eyes glanced between Linna herself and the graffiti on her wall. She wore a green sweater, a gold raven skull hung from her neck by a fine golden chain, black slacks tucked into trail-worn boots, leather gloves with fine runic embellishments, and a look of satisfaction on her soft features. Behind her, two wolf pups, one white and one grey, sat eyeing the elf.
“Home. A symbol of welcome and blessing. As far as curses go, this one is forgivable, it would think.” The woman shifted to face Linna directly and nodded her head. “I am Kira Adia, soon to be proprietor of a soon-to-be rune forge.” She nodded her head to the no longer vacant building. “What name may I call you?”
“Wylinna. Wylinna Newhaven.” She eyed Kira curiously. It was becoming clear Linna was not in danger of a fine. The mention of a rune forge caught her attention, however. “You work with runes? Are those yours?”
Kira held her left hand out, palm up. “Tell me what you make of this.” The pattern of runes was complex, difficult to follow, until she found the base rune that started the chain.
“This is a bind rune. An object is bound to the glove to be called upon at will. There are a number of variations on magic missile runes. A bow, maybe?” It followed no established pattern or school of rune-craft, but it was all there.
Kira was smiling when Linna returned her focus to the woman’s face. A distant fire burned in the violet eyes as they regarded her. “That is correct. And yes, I did make these myself. Would you like to work in the shop?”
The sudden question took her off guard. She needed a job. She had a week of cushion to keep her afloat before her inheritance ran out. The rest went into taxes for the house.
But job or no, Linna was still hesitant to take something unasked for from a stranger she just met, working in a building that, for all she knew, would soon be in the hands of the bank.
Kira must have seen the hesitation. She nodded. “I know this is sudden, but I will need some help. I cannot be at the store all day, every day. I have other obligations, both to research and to others.” She appeared to consider a moment. “Help me set up shop. Move some equipment in and get the forge in order. Consider my offer. If you are still uncertain, feel free to take your wages and move on. I see little risk in that much.”
She was reasonable in her arguments. Linna was more or less sold on the idea. But she wanted a bit more assurance. “I've been taught to be wary of making deals with fae.”
Kira laughed warmly at that. “I can assure you I am human. There is fae in my ancestry, many centuries ago.” She then took a small bag from a pouch at her belt and counted out a handful of Crowns. The hand extended once again, this time offering money. “Payment for your help tomorrow morning. I can meet you here, or at the Red Dragon, where I am currently living.”
She couldn't well refuse without being rude, so she took the Crowns and pocketed them. “I'll pick the Dragon. I could use a bit of coffee before we work.” She held out her hand for a handshake to seal the deal. “By the way, call me Linna.”
Kira smiled and nodded her head once again. “Pleased to meet you, Linna. Welcome to the Legacy Forge.”
- Junior Adventurer
- Posts: 10
- Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:50 pm
- Location: New Market District
She was mildly disappointed at Haru’s defeat, naturally. But not at all with Haru himself. He was using unfamiliar magic in a field where he had the disadvantage. No, Linna was incredibly proud of her boy. And she intended to show him tonight.
She was walking home tonight. Haru was presumably still at the isle, visiting with his family and celebrating the end of the challenge. Linna has asked him not to hurry, and she was making good on that time for a walk through the city. Cold aside, she was never more at peace and at home than when she was here. She missed it. It was long time to come home.
Maybe that's why she felt so drawn to this inn. She didn't remember seeing it before now in all the ties she'd passed from Dragon’s Gate to New Market, but something about it felt nostalgic and welcoming. Linna knew she needed to be on her way, so she wouldn't be gone too long and worry Haru.
And yet, she found herself crossing the threshold into a warmly lit common room, every table seemingly occupied by couples talking and enjoying their time together.
Everything seemed hazy, like in a dream. Smoke from the fireplace, maybe. As she made her way further into the room, she found a table with a lone woman nursing a bottle of something, staring off into the fire. For reasons Linna couldn't understand, she sat down with the woman.
She looked to the new arrival. Her face seemed to go from excited, to disappointed, and finally settle on warmly welcoming all at once. “Oh, dear, it's good to see you. I didn't expect you to be here anytime soon. Then again, you've always been the impatient sort.”
The woman seemed eerily familiar to Linna, but she couldn't place it. She was human, so not one of her relatives. She had blonde hair cut short and a round face that seemed almost Japanese by appearance. Brown eyes regarded her like a long-lost friend or distant family.
“Sorry, do I know you? I can't seem to recall.”
The woman laughed, musical and mischievous all at once. “Oh, you haven't seen me in a very long time. In fact, last time we talked, you were in quite the hurry to go and... well, you were looking for something.” An eyebrow lifted at the corner. “I think you found it.”
Linna blinked. “I don't understand. When did I meet you? What did I find?”
“The same thing we all look for. Though you're here much earlier than expected. Actually, you shouldn't be here at all, but that's just how you are.”
Linna shook her head, more than a little annoyed now. “You're not making any sense. Why do people in this city have to be so damn cryptic?”
The woman laughed again before giving Linna a warm, sympathetic smile. “Right? It's like everyone is the hero of their own video game or something. Since you're here now, you'll find out on your own soon enough. Just know for now that we've all been down this road before, though not as directly as you.”
At this moment, Linna realized none of the faces, aside from the woman’s, was distinguishable. It's like she was looking through a thick fog, but the air was clear.
The woman continued. “Best I can do is give you a hint to get you going. Look more closely at your uncle’s papers. Look for your grandfather. His story is far more interesting than you believe. He has a cousin on Earth, or had. He's been dead over a hundred years now. But his great-granddaughter is there. Living the life you should have. You'll figure out the rest.”
The couples began to look familiar. The women all seemed to look like her companion across the table. They were various ages, some only girls. Almost all were human. The young men with them, though...
A voice she knew called from behind Linna. “Hey, babe, sorry I'm late, got caught talking to my parents. You know how it is. Oh, is that...?”
Before Linna could look, the woman said, “Linna, don't turn around. It's important.” She looked past her. “Give me a second, baby. I'll catch up.” The stranger looked back at Linna. “Get home to your boy and take care of him. Look for your grandfather, and you'll figure it all out. You and Haru are going to be just fine. Fantastic, even. You were always going to find him, you made sure of that.”
The woman stood and walked away. Linna stood and turned. “Wait...!” There was no one there. There was no one in the room at all, in fact, except the man behind the bar, sipping coffee as he read a newspaper.
“Sorry, ma'am. That was the last call. I need to close up and get ready for the next one.”
Linna was standing outside in the road, snow falling around her. Wasn't she just in that inn? The building she looked at was old and dilapidated, no sign of another living presence in years inside its wooden frame. She pulled out her phone, checking the time. Barely any time had passed. Was it a daydream?
“I was born in this damned city. I should be used to this by now.” She walked off, heading to the district gate to set up the hot tub and wait for Haru to arrive with dinner. She might even need a glass of wine after this.
That was her? Wow, I didn't expect to see her.
Well, you know how she is. She got impatient. So now, she gets to figure it out early too.
Do you think she'll get there? Not all of them do the first time through.
Yeah, I really do.
I really didn't recognize her, she was in such a rush, that's not even...
I know. She didn't want to wait for that either. But I put her on the trail. She'll find her, and she'll figure it out. The life she would have had if she'd waited a bit longer.
If she'd done that, what state would he have been in, though? She’s his second chance, that girl really did show up right when he needed her, he was almost back in his own shadow.
Yeah, he really was. He got lucky. But it was going to happen anyway. Maybe this way, they can do even better than we did.
All we can do is wait and see.
The sad brown eyes of the man took in the place he would in his younger days use to hide from his powers, from his nightmares, a place where once he’d rendezvous with a lover, taking comfort in the shadows, and showing his Bex what he saw when looking upon them.
Now however, following the lights, the man felt nothing but sadness, he hadn’t seen the warnings, he just wanted to remember, alone, for one day, the way he had felt in his early twenties, his entire life ahead, the woman who he would one day marry giggling happily as they spent their happy moments together, unaware yet of what the future would hold.
A giggle came from beside Haru, red wisps forming together into the form of a young man, horns curled around his head, crouched on a log, one hand on a tree for balance, the other held out to a girl the man would recognize, “Bex! Take my hand, I wanna show you something!” He remembered what he had shown her, feet turning to follow the wisps, this had been their first trip to the dead forest, “There’s a good spot to catch fireflies up ahead!” his own deeper voice said the words simultaneously as the wisps, watching the girl stop in awe at the clearing, holding the hand of his younger self, “See? This is what I see when I see the dark, I see a world protecting those in the shadows, monsters don’t live in the shadows, some just take shelter within them.”
He’d remembered explaining this as he tried to explain what he was, but he remembered how much easier it was just to show. All three figures held their hands out, a golden firefly landed on the oldests finger, the wisps dissolving as red fireflies circled theirs, “Haru... This is incredible...” the words trailed off in the voice he so badly missed and so badly wanted to hear for real, just one more time, one more day finding her reading a book on the couch and slipping under the blanket beside her, they didn’t need words, this was how they said I love you, sliding under the blankets, enjoying the brush of fingertips on exposed skin, a head resting on a shoulder, little motions that said they weren’t going anywhere.
His eyes were sad as they vanished, a small gasp on his lips as arms draped around his shoulders, a familiar scent washing over him, not her, he knew it couldn't be, he always knew when she was coming, when she was near, this wasn't her. The giggle reached his ears and he shook, staring at where the wisps had been, "Come on baby, you know this is our place, you brought me here to watch the fireflies..." It was her voice, "If I come back anywhere... it would be here..."
The hands wrapped around his chest from behind, the quiet voice reaching his ears again, the faerie magic taking a hold of his weakened mind, "Come dance with me? I miss you..." Her voice was quiet, laced with magic, trying to persuade him to come with her.
There was a fight within him, the human male unable to resist the voice, knowing it was a lie, but wanting to just see her, hold her, feel her arms around him.
Within him another presence was screaming, begging him to wake up, to not fall for it, to stay with her, her voice not yet strong enough to break through.
He turned facing the impish smile of his love, facing the lie, and accepting it as truth, “Bex...” he whispered softly as she took his hands and twirled, the dark red faerie dress swirling with her movements, “I missed you...” he fell into the dance with her, the fae wisps settling into the shapes his horns and tail once took, the red light reflected in his eyes, looking as young as he once did, just as demonic.
The dance was peaceful at first, happy giggles and humming to an imaginary tune, but slowly the light of the wisps dimmed as midnight approached, wounds appearing across his Bex’s body, staining that red dress a deep crimson, “You couldn’t save me then...” her hand cupping his cheeks, “But with a deal you can save me now, you can have your peace back...”
He stumbled back, watching in horror as he was forced to relive her screams and pain, fire rippling around his hands as he begged for it to stop, to let her go, “It’s your fault I’m dead Haru, your fault Jun doesn’t have a mother... you should have taken a deal and they wouldn’t have come for me... Love...” the voice spoke with malice and hatred, a tone never heard in his memories, a voice lacking the warmth and love she had always held.
His horns and tail vanished, the searing pain of the memory ripping through his soul, “And then you couldn’t even face it so you threw your powers away, accept it Haru, I will never come home because of you... but you... you can change that, you can have the rest of your life with me, dancing and singing... so will you?” Haru was staring in horror, and shook his head as he stumbled away, her face decaying as if buried underground, maggots crawling through her flesh, “So you’ll just watch me die again?” She asks, her voice turning cold, “You know where to find me when you change your mind... Love.”
The moon hung at its highest point as the world went dark. Haru fell, clutching his knees to his chest, sobs shaking his chest, “I’m sorry... Bex... forgive me please... please...” his voice echoed, hand over his heart, “Please don’t leave me alone...”
His begging fell on the silence of the woods, his brown eyes welling up as he let out a scream, feeling the pain of losing her rip through him again and again. The screaming gave way to sobs, the smallest of flames wrapping around his hands in anger, the last remnant of the power he once held.
In the shadows, watching the pain with unspoken glee, feasting on it with a grin, was a red eyed shadow, watching the man rip himself apart, granting just the smallest amount of power to him as a reminder.
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