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1 yr ago
Current Why am I bothering to update the status anyway? No one's gonna care
1 yr ago
"Remember to look at the stars not down at your feet." Inspired me ever since. Rest in peace Professor Hawking
2 yrs ago
I don't know why, but the boredom is killing me slowly
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Welcome to my crappy profile front end. I hope you will enjoy your stay here.

To be honest, I haven't had much experience in RP, since I just started recently. But to reassure you, I am a writer, and my fic has received a bit of attention now, and so you don't have to worry about grammars and spellings, just rules of roleplaying.

I have written many types of stories and I am confident to say I can fit in into any categories when I switch to RPing, but my favorite genre is probably fantasy and science fiction. Currently so, I am taking part in a few of the RP, and is still looking for more. Hopefully we can find a common interest among them.

Thank you for reading (it's quite short really, but I don't have anything else to say)

Most Recent Posts

White-Feathers, that is perhaps the darkest section of the history book that he had glossed over. And yet it was nowhere as detached as he would have thought comparing to events like the Black Death or the Valkyrur Crusades. It happened nowhere beyond the range of his consciousness recognition. It was right there, happened when Michael was living, breathing and feeling in this brutal existence. He didn't want to admit it, but he was living in one of the most horrible times to be alive. To think, that no matter what good you do, no matter how dire the circumstances are, just by one simple fact that you have dark blue locks of hair on your head, you'd be considered an inferior beings, treated like an animal and even killed without any mercy or shame. It was as if...they weren't even looking at a human being. Even lions, bears and wolves mourn and wept at the death of their own pack members, so why couldn't these people do. Was it the downside to human evolution, that we had moved a little too far ahead of ourselves. That we were too smart to turn against ourselves, but were too dumb to realize the immorality of it?

What's even scarier is the crowd themselves. You could look at them with a much more sympathetic eye. They had a family. They had themselves. They had properties that they wanted to keep safe of. But their indifference to evil, ironically and tragically, led to even more losses that these people themselves failed to see. Michael was pretty certain that if each and every individuals involved had the guts to fight for what's right, this would never have happened. None of these White Feathers crap, nor Thomas's story about being denied the rights they were promised. And where else to look for evidence than right here, where there were no societal standards or etiquettes that restrict people from being 'polite' to one another. Most of the people he had interacted with didn't have much issues with Darcsens. Some had a bit of grudges, but they were mostly irrational and culturally driven, rather than anything personal. The ones with real and in-root racist values were in the minority. Not a rare one of the kind, but still not above the median bar. With that in mind, they were eventually allowed to spiral into what we had heard from Jean. It was scary and disgusting to think about.

"I guess it's a cultural difference as well. I don't recall Edinburgh having that caliber of terror. Even from the most outlandish of news sources" Michael said as he stared into the distant ground. "It's hard to hear myself. I'm sorry to know that happened to you, or anyone."

To even think about it, it was worth a sigh from the upper-class sapper. Perhaps it was best that he shared it, and without his knowledge, his superego had already been given way.

"I don't think they are the main issue." He said in a silent yet audible voice that almost seemed like a wind glossing over their cheeks, carrying wisdoms from books and archives his father had collected in his archive. "It's the others. If they keep turning a blind eye to tragedies, we'd continue to be consumed in the cycle of hatred."

They probably needed a guide. Or if they already had one, a leader. Someone or something that allowed their real goods to rise out of them. But where to find it now? There was nowhere to start. No formulas or anything that could do any help.

The talk did not go on for long though. Long story-short, a soldier, sent by Staff Sergeant Baker, summoned Jean to him for a briefing, so the Francian left the three for him. Isaac quickly left as well, leaving Michael alone with Thomas. The two proceeded to chat for a little while more before another soldier pulled Michael away from the Oceanic war hero, completely separating the group, at least for now. The person that pulled him away was a girl, apparently from Company D judging from her insignia. Looking over her side-ponytailed ocean blues was the all-to-familiar sapper gear that Michael had spent two months hugging them that it now appeared in his dreams sometimes. He could tell almost for sure that she bears the important role of sapper. And like Michael, the gentle tap of his shoulder to the semi-formal pattern of introduction were extremely impressionable for a denizen of society's upper echelon, mostly because of the dark contrast of the greasy, brutal and ungraceful nature of war

"Excuse me, are you Private Daunte of the 18th Atlantic Rifle?"

Michael firstly turned around to face the girl's matching sky blue eyes. The familiar sky blue. It wasn't good association with him. Why does every girl he talk to have that eye color.

"Yes." Michael clasped his two hands together and held it just below his stomach. "How may I help you?"

"My name is Anna. I'm a Private from Company D, sapper. It's a pleasure to be working with you in the upcoming days."

Wait, work? With the other company? Why didn't he hear anything about this?

"Uhh, forgive my ignorance but...I'm not sure I'm getting the context of this." Michael was offered a handshake to which he reluctantly took. The girl did not seem to be that surprised by the information deficit. Things like this happened all the time.

"Hehe, it's alright. It's new orders given from our higher ups." She replied. "If you want to know more, Staff Sergeant Baker is the one who briefed us. You can come directly to him."

"Where is he though?" Michael asked, to which he was quickly briefed by Anna, redirecting him over to the other side of the camp he was set up at, where Jean and Baker were being briefed. Now that Michael hated to interrupt with anyone's conversation, but Baker's warmth and welcoming upon seeing the sapper standing in the distant instantly pulled him into the circle with him. He seemed to be expecting the nobleman, although not completely.

"Private Daunte, yes?" He asked, upon Michael's approach. It was so much different from Middleton or anyone else that Michael knew. "Come in, we are just having a chat!"

"I'm glad you survived the onslaught from Middleton. I was worried for a bit." The recall of that ungraceful encounter made Michael's blood boil a little. But he knew that he should just let it go for now.

"I know how to go about things, especially with a man like him." He replied

"You were smart back there. Normal newbies would probably try to spat at him or just shudder in fear. And let me tell you, it wouldn't end well either ways." The man complimented. Comparing to the last time the Staff Sergeant saw the Private back in Hill 58, he looked like he was toughening up, and in a correct way as well. Not many people could do such a thing.

"Anyway, you must be here for that new assignment that you probably have never heard of?" Baker cleared his throat, officially ending the cycle of jokes, as the serious talk began. "So as you and Corporal Charpentier may know clearly, the Imperial tunnel beneath Amone is one of the critical supply line for their operations in this holy city. Big enough to essentially be considered an underground city of its own."

"The Imperials have been leeching from this supply line like ants for so long now, it is draining us of men and resources, and our higher ups of patience. So the they really want that city in ruin in the upcoming days, before the final assault." Michael already had that gut feeling before. And they were sending Michael in. Was it because they were a capable working squad. From the results of the last few weeks, apparently not. "Please brief this with the remaining sappers in your squad, that you'll be joining the two sappers in Company D to cut this supply line. Is that alright with you?"

All remaining sappers? Well, he only knew two others who bear the same responsibility. One of them, Gwyn, has either died or got separated and left behind at the inn. The other one is Reyna, who apparently hadn't had much interactions with the enemy, saving for that close-quarter fight before the inn happened. So it was a four man squad. Against the entire Imperial forces in there.

"I know it's a hard task, but it would be imperative to our success in Amone if you can pull this off. Do you think you can do that?"

It was probably a rhetorical question or a genuine concern. But Michael knew he wouldn't be able to weasel his way out of this. It was an order from the higher ups, and he had to do it. Chances that he would end up dead are higher than average. But then again...

'You will come back when you demand it."

"Sure." Michael replied briefly, to Baker's transformation of concern into satisfaction. "We will make sure that happens."
Acion Nakamiji

"Yes, why not? I want to know what happened too."

After that whole...'episode' at the gym, and the whole sleeping on his thigh a little while ago, he felt the inner compel to make sure if she's alright. She had always looked like a really nice girl, at least her active conscious version of herself, not that alter ego that Acion faced a while ago. Always cared for her friends and a little sensitive perhaps, but that downside was still had its ups way higher than so many people these days. It just felt like a natural thing to be considered.

With that said, Acion slowly slipped his feet into his normal sandals down right next to the bed. A slight itch feathered over the thigh of one of his legs, as he swayed it a little back and forth to get his feet inside his shoes. It was the sign of healing flesh. Strangely fast though. It had gotten down like that now. Like an hour or two ago, it would be like someone trying to needle him drugs. But now it was just itching. Sometimes he was surprised at his own recovery ability. Well, he did have the ability to regenerate feathers absurdly fast, so it wasn't something out of a fourth dimension.

A push of his legs confirmed it. The pain had all but dulled, and he could walk around normally too. He wasn't sure if he'd recover like this with more serious injuries, but now he had some reasons to put a bit of trust in his own system, to push a little more with trainings. After all, he needed to get stronger. That beatings from Dulga did teach him quite a good lesson, and if he recalled it, he had little shame to lose to her that way.

"Ah, my injuries aren't so bad after all." Acion noted. "And I thought it would screw me up for days."

Just as he was thinking about where to find Tomoe for Hitomi right now, the slight opening of the door already gave him the answer.

'Oh there she is'

Immediately, she seemed to know what to say. At least to Hitomi, considering the promise, whatever that is, that they had mutually. When it concerned him though, the winged man just smiled kindly to the apology

"Well, sometimes you are in that state where you just look for anyone you know in sight. You need not worry about such insignificance to me. And thanks for it, I'm in dire need for a drink"

Perhaps he was craving for it, or that his hidden rich-boy syndrome was acting up subtly, Tomoe's description didn't fit the taste at all. He took quite a gulp to compensate the dehydration from all that workout he did.

When the pink-haired girl were unsure of leaving, Acion shrugged his shoulders.

"We enjoy the silence, so nothing's wrong. You don't need to leave." He said. "Or is there something you want to say?"

@Silver Carrot@liferusher

It was the most expected and honestly generic responses Michael could expect. But it was alright. He simply gave a light smile to all the encouragement around table upon hearing the confession, albeit not to where he was supposed to say it to. Strange, it didn't feel as weird as when he was blurting it out when she was asleep in the White Hart, perhaps because they were all guys, all in the same environment, with the same societal pressure in terms of relationship. Michael wasn't sure of the other levels of society, but to his surrounding's standards, he'd have to be the one to make the move. Be upfront and clear, yet kind and respectful like a gentleman. You were expected to be the opener to everything. Easy to say, but not easy to be that when the time comes, unless you are extremely confident. It wasn't his first time coming to an understanding concepts of romance and relationship too, even though now was his first to bloom for real. He wondered if she actually heard what he said the other day while she was dead drunk and believed it. Didn't seem like it from her behaviors in the week since, but he had half-heartedly wished that could happen.

But then again, it was still barriered by that rat in a human's costume. There were some new information that did earnestly put a couple of question marks on Michael's thoughts. It was quite a typical backstory for some criminals, but it was some thought-provoking things to reconsider his position, that maybe he was more than a rat. Some of which are a little difficult to swallow.

"Well, that puts some more sympathy to look at him." Michael rolled his eyes in his effort of dismissal. "But it's not anymore okay."

Once again, he felt like he was placed in a bonfire. Not from artillery shells or anything, but his own internal fire that threatened to engulf whoever stood in his way. All from the slight mention or reminder of the man's sinful deed. Started out from his chest, then slowly creeping up to his four limbs then his small delicate face soon tensed with a heated aura of anger. But thankfully enough, the topic switched to something else. About Jean and his awkward understanding of love. It was kind of awkward as well, to be honest, but thanks to it, his anger died down fast as he thought of the other situation at hand.

"They always tell us to be the move maker. At least for me." Michael said. "But to my own understanding of love, trying to be the right person is better than finding the right person. Don't try too hard, and let them find you instead."

Everyone said they wanted to find the right person, but no one ever said they wanted to be the right person for anyone.

"But that's just a viewpoint from an ignorant upper-class citizen." But then he wittingly stated, a little dryly in case some smartasses were quick to point out their subjectivity, especially in an opinionated thing like love. "A quarter of my day is in my parent's study, so there are stuffs I don't know about the outside world."

The subject was then turned to something...perhaps a little unpleasant.

"Say Jean, only if you're alright with sharing this...well...this is just something I've only heard mentioned of, but...what is the White Feather movement?"

"A lot better than I expected. Thank you."

It felt really weird to say that he was doing well, among the deaths and destructions in this gloom. But it was perhaps not that far from the truth after all. Michael had expected much of his soldier life in misery, but it turned out to be not as bad, mostly thanks to the kindness and care of some members of his squad, especially that particular girl that Jean just mentioned. It may be far from the norm of perception for most people, but he was doing relatively well. Not really good, but it was nowhere near as bad as he had thought.

"I don't know about her right now, with him trying to block her side, but if that's the hypothetical scenario, she would be a happy one, since whenever she doesn't have him on his mind, she tends to smile a lot more."

This just helps putting the conflict back on his mind. About that terrible excuse of a captain. He didn't know if he should really forgive that man now, after all the consideration of what he had done to Lucia and all his soldiers who he did not hesitate to send deaths their way. Especially when repentance was definitely not a thing to this man, not at least according to what he had shown himself to be. But regardless of that, he still knew that the best solution is to forgive. He was taught all his life to know that. To let go of hatred for another human being and see him for his true self. He had to do it, otherwise he might just consume himself. But the more he knew, the harder it was to extend forgiveness to such a man. He certainly did not deserve such a thing, regardless of how sympathetic his circumstances were.

Was his morality built incorrectly from the very beginning? Or was he being a judgmental figure trying to be higher than God himself? Michael just couldn't find his answer.

"It may have been a little too far ahead for me," Michael simply shrugged the issue off his shoulders, before moving to something else. Something else stuck in his mind ever since he was back at White Hart. "but I may actually have feelings for her."

He wasn't one hundred percent sure of it, but from the looks of it, the unusual care and worries he had over a girl who was not his family, how he was sometimes unable to shake her off of his mind, it seemed to be that the seed had been planted. Of course it could be argued that he was just the kind soul that he was born as, but going as far as to be so angered by someone else who abuse her like that, a normal person would not be so persistent.

"Although some of her antics can be a little annoying, she cared at the right time that I needed it most. I'm honestly thankful." He said, before addressing the silver-haired gunner standing right next to the group of gentlemen around. Her question wasn't really his concern, but rather...her demeanor. It outright did not click with his normal impression of the calm gunner who had his back during the hill charge or during Amone. Regardless, he addressed her directly and concisely, heeding her offer.

"If you could find me a clean piece of cloth, I'd very much appreciate it."

For a little while, Michael was still looking at the direction in which Middleton had just stormed off. His eyes never blinked, and some of the soldiers nearby were already getting slightly intimidated by the cold solid stare that seemed to cut deep with judgement and anger. They wanted to ask if he was ok after being hung up by the collar, but the guy looked ok enough, and they didn't want to get in the crosshair of that fury. That rat. Now speculations of what he was doing to Lucia began to circulate and expand like pathogens in an infected host. And every time it does, the bar was lowered, and the meter began to shorten. The more he wished to have him dead, just like how his father once wished that Donster to die, ironically breaching his religious teachings.

...religious teaching...

'Wait, why am I getting caught up with this?'

Is it that Middleton's anger had gotten to him? It did not break him, but rather changed owners. 'Come on, you're better than this.' He finally flinched as he placed the tips of his fingers on his temples before grabbing the gun that was slapped out of his hand earlier. He wasn't always like this. He definitely wasn't this defensive before, but he was toughening up for sure. But the anger that was poured into him like molten lava. It definitely wasn't something he was taught to hold onto this long.

"From Hill 58 to this one..."

It was not what he was supposed to be.

The first squad mate to approach Michael was Isaac, seemingly thanking him for something. For what exactly? He also offered a Scotch that was the remnant of that tragic inn. It could be a way to remember the inn's staff member who died in the tragedy caused by someone who were supposedly on their side, and for only a couple of dead Imperials, but unfortunately Michael wasn't a man of alcohol.

"Thanks for your invitation, but I don't drink alcohol." He politely declined.

But maybe he could still have a talk later on with Isaac. Or Jean in that regard. Or hell maybe even Luke. Michael knew he was an asshole most of the times to people, but should that be something to deter him from getting to know him, especially why would he act so malevolently in the first place. It was common ground for a person in Europa to act like that to Darcsen, but no humans hate for a reason. Like Heinz towards the Federation. His ideals were definitely toxic, but at least he had a ground to build from. And if he was able to meet him again and again, he could imagine changing it entirely possible. But when would that be, when he was on the enemy's nation?

"Maybe Thomas would wish to join you for that."

Michael looked around to see Marathon standing around with Jean over in the other table and casually strolled over to them, whether or not Isaac would follow him.

"You mind me sitting here gentlemen?"

The evacuation of the inn had gone relatively smoothly. Well at least for Michael and Lucia. Their escapes were fairly uneventful aside from just falling in line according to the orders of Isaac and Jean. Their way out had been cleared mostly by his squadmate or Lucia. Resistance from the dying and desperate Imperials were significant and quite deadly, but it was nowhere as dangerous as that officer who almost managed to take Michael's mask. He quickly exited the inn and rendezvous with everyone outside. Heeding to Jean's order Michael followed without any doubts or hesitation.

But before he left the scene, the neutral haven of mankind now contaminated with the new way people think of to choke people. In war, even the basic of kindness was a liability. He wondered how people could even tolerate the sight of this. Oh yeah, he knew why. Those who made the decision, almost everyone, had never had to pick up a gun before in their entire life. Had never seen the horribly mangled corpse, the blown off limbs, the tears on the dead bodies of your best friends you've made. The reinforcement of hatred and disdain had never been as strong as this one scene before his eyes: the sign in front of the door, labelled White Hart, blurred in the yellow fog of chlorine.

Michael gently made a cross with his hand while looking distantly at the inn. Then he turned around and marched away.

He never came back to White Hart again...
Two weeks later.

Michael was sitting at a table, chilling out with his deck of card, trying to construct his monumental construction of millenia before being destroyed by a bump on the table, when the man in charge of letters pass him an envelope. A slightly pink, significantly marred by the dirt and wetness of the container yet still recognizable, envelope, encased with the elegant red hue of glue. A smile immediately formed on his face. Pink envelope. Who could be so majestic and rich to use it? Who else? Her elegance and gentliness was indistinguishable.

He quickly opened the letter and read.

My dearest son, Michael.

I have finally received your letter. My heart is finally at ease with my mind when I read your lovely words. But at the same time they ache at the hearing that you are not doing well. I know honey. War is never good for the mind and body alike, and anyone educated enough will know that. But it is your only way forward. The Federation requires your service. You can't really get away with all of this. Just keep on going honey. I know you can. I hope these words manage to reach you, but don't worry, I have full confidence in you that you will live through this hellfire. After all, you and your father are one of the same.

Do you remember the time he tells you about his study trip oversea to Vinland? He was only twenty at the time. Scared like a puppy. Grandfather was pretty strict on him, making him fend for himself all by himself. His first few months were pretty terrible. I took pity on him back then, and that's how we met. You wouldn't believe how much he had changed from when we first met until you were born. I know it would be disingenuous to compare his trip of knowledge and wisdom to you having to swim for yourself in the tide of blood of humanity, but the parallels are there. He left the comfort of his own home, scared and daunted, he came back a wise, intelligent and proactive professor, a wonderful and faithful husband, and a brilliant father who gave both of us a great treasure: You

God knows it. You're my darling, your father's half. You inherit his intelligence and his resilience. You may be weak now, but as long as you don't die, you will come back when you demand it. And before you or anyone even know it, you will not be cracked so easily any longer. And the enemies would then cower before your ability to not give in, to just hold on and fight for a second longer than them. You will show those officers who think little of human lives your infragility. And you will come back just like your father: a courageous, dauntless fighter who fought for the sake of his country apolitically, no matter what their purposes are.

I know this letter may be a little bit short, and a little waste of our only opportunity to talk, but we all know each other. There isn't much happening at home that's worth the mention. But if this makes your day a little better, whenever this letter arrives, then I'm glad.

Stay strong my darling and may God be with you


It did make his day a little better. A little bit. For a little while. Before it was immediately ruined. By the very definition of disgrace of human beings.

The scream suddenly pierced his consciousness, pulling him back to Earth with the letter on his hand. Not the scream of excitement that Michael thought would come from Lucia - it happened all the time now - but anger. A knife in his back, the sensation suddenly slit through his chest. The ground felt no more than the distant fog as he turned around. Alexander-John Middleton. The man he dreaded. The man whose grip on his loved Lucia was still as tight as a cracker, now in front of him in a fury of anger that could burn an entire house down. And all of that fury, obviously noticably, was directed towards him. What the hell is going on?

Swallowing a gulp of saliva, Michael slowly and hesitantly approached the man. He slowly swung his gun from his shoulder, holding it by his two hands in front of him. His breathe almost disappeared as he faced the angry rage of a person, amplified by the fact that the man before him is way older and a superior in ranks. The man who could kill Michael any seconds.

To his surprise, and further scaredness, Middleton did not take the gun. He slapped it out of his hand before grabbing Michael by his collar. His combined strength of his veterancy was enough to lift the five foot sapper off the ground, his face right on par with the level of his. His eyes were like a predator, like a hurt predator hunting the hunter that shot it.

"YOU..." Middleton had prepared all the way what he would say to Michael, what to intimidate and crush with both his might and his status as Lucia's protector and guardian. But when the fiend that was threatening Lucia's existence was before him, his blind anger and rage had blurred all his preparation, as the only word he could utter out was just a culmination of reckless and hot-headed contempt.

For poor Michael, he was confused shitless. He was soft-spoken up until being pulled up. What the hell did he do? The entire week he did nothing of against orders. His squad did indeed fail to accomplish their designated task before every other squad does, and came back alive with their asses clean, but if he was to get upset at that, then Jean or Isaac would have been the target. Why a scared nobody private like Michael? Then was it something else?

'You will show those officers who think little of human lives your infragility.'

'At least you seem to be self-aware. Of yourself and the things surrounding you. That, I can respect."

During Middleton's fierce fury, Elizabeth's words, in her beautiful handwritten font, cherished on the smooth silky white piece of paper, came back to Michael subconsciously. Heinz's too. It was unexplanably correct of what his frail but strong mother had said. Before he even realized it, his fear began to drop like the release the pressure out of a helium tank. His illogical mind began to subside, way better than Middleton could. His eyes soon turned solid cold like freezing water. And Middleton could sense the sudden change in aura around the fiend he wanted to destroy and flatten into his place. Had the captain approached the man a few weeks before, he would have gotten what he wanted: a mentally crushed, scared and shaking Michael. But no. Poor Michael was no longer poor.

He had become not so easy to crack.

"Yes sir?"

His voice suddenly became irritatingly neutral. No fear, nor mocking him. Middleton wanted to pounce on the private for trying to make him look stupid, but he could not. There was no reason to beat him up for asking a natural question. And everyone was watching, they all heard what he said. It was like a machine in a human's body, with a logical mind at its arsenal.

POTENTIAL UNLOCKED: Dialogue as weapons

It was more aggravating than beating or mentally intimidating him into submission, simply because he was using things that Middleton did not have. And it was his greatest fear that if his Lucia ever managed to get a hold of. His hand gripped even tighter, but to no avail. Eventually, he was forced to calm down, a little bit. Being enraged at this upper-classed soldier wouldn't bring any good. He was no longer flinched by intimidation. Michael knew what that something else he did that angered Middleton.


That rat of a guardian. When Michael's fear subsided, and his powerful rationale settled in, connecting the dots became a job of counting from one to five. He remembered before Amone even began, his direct order to keep her safe. Or on the train when he called her over to his cabin. He had always found that suspicious. And now the rat had finally come out of the cage. He wasn't sure what degeneracy he was doing to Lucia, but the nature was coming to light. Michael didn't do anything wrong to her. And so far Middleton is the one doing just that. It was unbelievable to think that one would do such things to an innocent sixteen years old out of love. The definition of love had never strayed that far from God's word in the book. It had to be an extrinsic abomination.

After Middleton had stopped burning all his hair into crisp, he decided to put the sapper down on the ground, but not letting go of his collar. He still burned hot though

"How dare you lay a finger on Lucia? I told you not to!" Venom flew from his mouth, as he stared straight at Michael's. This time, the sapper, instead of flinching in terror like he would have at the beginning of the war, stared back unblinking.

"With all due respect sir, I don't recall such an order." He replied.

"I told you those who harm her will taste my bullet. I said that clear enough and yet you did not heed my order." Middleton continued his barrage.

"I did heed your order. You may call the testimony from the rest of the squad that I shielded her from the vehicle." To which Michael was not at all intimidated. This was his domain. His tone was especially annoying to the angry Middleton, as it continued to be neutral. He kept finding the opportunity to put the sapper in his place, but he could not. Beating him up would make him the aggressor to everyone watching, as he was not saying anything wrong or provoking in an objective nature.

Soon Middleton realized he was falling right into this ignorant and arrogant upper-class's little mind game. He was fighting logic with anger. And he knew he would never win. He had to calm down. Why the hell must he be so deep in fury and anger? He's his superior. He had the authority to make the call, and the guy would have no choice but to obey, otherwise he'd receive the firing squad. Why would he have to play this stupid game?

"Hmph." Middleton's tone also dropped, as his anger began to subside. "I don't believe you know her entire life purpose when I brought her under my wing. This is not a place for your childish romance-drama play."

"As I was not informed. I'm apparently the ignorant one here. But it is possible for ignorance to be educated." Michael's tone continued on its path. As neutral as a machine

This guy...

"So if you have the time, please inform me of what her purpose is. If I'm hindering it in any way reasonable, then I will stop."

If Middleton was still hallucinating in his fury, he would have lost this game right here. Like a father teaching a baby how to walk, Michael led Middleton right into the part where he was faced with a trilemma: Either just spit it out in front of everyone, ruining it all, beat him into submission - which again made him the unreasonable party, or just leave it and lose this game. All bad outcomes. This Daunte guy is indeed much better than he is. His past would agree definitely, but there was no more of that. He didn't care one bit if he is worse or not. All he cared about is Lucia and his plans.

"Don't think you can lead me with your wordplay. It doesn't work, nor does your explanation, Orders are simple. Do not tempt Lucia for she is undergoing something beyond your very existence, to be raised and protected by me, for everyone else."

There, he let Michael go at last. He wondered if that got to him. But his response was his stone cold face, and then suddenly a look of contempt and judgement.

"As I expected."

If it was the old Middleton, that line would immediately cut right through his conscience like a knife, slicing it to pieces with all the implications up and down, of how far he had gone to become this person that was simply under one's expectation to act badly. But the old Middleton is dead. The present Middleton wouldn't care one single bit. He wouldn't care if he was looked upon as the bad guy, as long as it fulfilled his goals. He immediately left the scene, dragging Staff Sergeant Baker behind him.

But what Middleton accomplished for himself was nothing...

"I hope your day is just as pleasant as you are to me." He whispered after Middleton was gone.

Just like Michael's wordplay went into deaf ears to Middleton, his words also went into Michael's deaf ears. It did not deter him. Like how harsh punishment did not stop crime. Or how matters do not disappear regardless. It just morph into something. The only thing he managed to accomplish was to plant more seeds of intent on Michael to oppose and dismantle that rat's legacy. And it would last beyond anyone's expectation...
Acion Nakamiji

She said yes.

Acion didn't hear it wrong. She said yes.

How in the world did that happen? Everything else before that felt like distant memories. It's so blurry to him at this moment. But now he had just moved to being in a relationship, in a split second that he never saw it coming. The movies and all that drama clichés had got a little too far into him; one that perhaps did not serve him really well in this scenario, but probably would not hinder his progress. But all in all it was there. He is now in a relationship.

"It, I'd say. But it feels good."

It really does. Having someone care for you is such a bliss to think about. The dull pain in his leg all felt insignificant to the moment. His worries also blurred into unconsciousness. For a moment, he just enjoyed the silence, internally turning upside down inside, while whatever questions asked at him his subconsciousness had already taken over for him. Who knew how long it had taken both of them before reality came back down to him. Relativity is an amazing thing.

But when reality actually came back to him, he remembered what happened before all of that confession. It was Tomoe crying on his bed, that Acion hadn't had the chance to ask what was going on.

"Anyway, you may want to check on your roommate. She was venting stuff before you came. It may be something unpleasant." Acion said. "Or we can do that together. I wanna know if that's related to that fight earlier."
@Silver Carrot

Seeing how his words seemed to fly over Diana's head, he simply sipped the remaining of his tea while he enjoyed Reyna's dance session. Her naivety did not go without surprises, but the amount was fairly small. Michael did read more, know more and understand more than an average Edinburghian for his fairly humble age. So of course he'd expect people to scratch their heads and turn his gears into a toy

"Well, I agree. You have to keep your hopes high. Of course, there are chances that she won't listen, but hey, if she's such an intelligent individual, she may actually be able to sit down and talk."

It's never too late to present an intelligent person a good-willed argument.

The rest of the night was uneventful, as Michael's fatigue from sleeping on the armchair the previous day soon caught up to him as soon as night fell. So he made his way up to his room to enjoy his bed while he still could. Once Jean told the squad to be sleeping in his uniform, he knew it was probably the end of the stay in this inn. It was fun while it lasted.

The allure of the bed kept him on the mattress for the entire night, even surpassing his normal sleeping time. While in his dream world, it didn't even occur to him that Lucia was sleeping right next to him for the whole night, willing to pay him back the favor when he guarded her on top of Hill 58. She slept after him, and woke up before him. His long-sleeping habit at home was probably resurging now that had happened.

What he woke up to, however, was not the soft call of the girl he dearly likes, but a squeal of terror. Was she in danger?! Michael's eyes shot open at the scream before bolting upright on his bed. Fearing an attack or a bombardment, he instantaneously grabbed his gears, equipment, ammunition, gun and...the mask. Now that someone had called for that mask to be put on, it must have been it. He knew masks were used, perhaps for his tunnel attack, but strangely enough, everybody else also got it. Now it made perfect sense, as that yellow particles of death was slowly creeping into the room. That yellow...he had seen..., no read, it somewhere before.

"Is that chlorine?"

Oh shit...that's not a good thing to be in touch with your lungs.

"Yeah, let's do it. And let's get out of here first."

He could figure out what was going on later. The sound of the coughing and screaming downstairs was simply made even more haunting as Michael tentatively knew what such a gas could do to your body if you inhale too much of it. However, just as he put on his gas mask, to which he had to lay his gun on his bed, he was soon ambushed. Two Imperials. Two...familiar ones. He saw them in the inn just yesterday from now. They were so friendly, perhaps a little too much of an alcoholic to his taste but still, and yet seeing how one of their eyes were completely red, both from the bit of the gas and the terror it was spreading beneath its surreal and semi-transparent body, it brought him a sense of fear as well...and sympathy?

But all of that was by the split second, as the officer quickly demanded his and Lucia's masks. By the revolver in his hand. Now that latter part of sympathy disappeared. The former began to take hold. Give him the mask? Let live? What do you think you're talking about? He'd rather get shot than be let to live, only to die in a violent hellfire. But what could he tell them now? The revolver was on his forehead, and he wouldn't listen to reason. No one would listen to reason this instant, no matter how intelligent he was. Was he to give him the mask now? Then...he'd die. He'd die in this inn. Done nothing. Nothing but leave pain in his mother's heart who was still praying for him to return safely. And Lucia, who was increasingly relying on Michael's wisdom and philosophy to counter Middleton's toxic and morally-degrading ones. She'd be left alone, with no one to defend her now. He'd...die. He...could not.


As the officer's hand was getting closer to his mask, Michael had made up his mind. He'd not die here. He'd not give them his mask undefended. He apologized, but he was going to have to fight for it. His life was his own. His future was his to define. And it would not end with sacrificing himself for a bunch of Imperials.

His hands tightened. He was gonna have to act fast to get that revolver out of his sight. Just when he grip on that mask, it would create an opening. He could do this. He could-

Just before he even got ready to retaliate, the officer was grimacing in pain as he was pushed right back. By Lucia?


That shot would have connected with Michael's head, ending his scared life right there, leaving sorrow in everyone's wake, if he hadn't made that split of half a second's decision to jerk his head to the right. Not even a fraction of a second could describe how close he had come to certain death that moment. But for a cost of surviving that encounter was a deaf ear. He quickly fell on his butt on the soft mattress of the bed, clenching his ears before witnessing the fight before him. Or rather a massacre.

The brief temporary deafness of his ear was over soon before he knew it. And the moment he regained his hearings, the second shot rang out. And on the ground was no longer a person anymore. Or even a corpse per say, from neck up. It was a horrendous muddle of disgust that no one could have imagined coming out of himself. For that time, Michael had just the same expression as that scared Imperial in front of Lucia. Sadly enough for him, the one behind that work was on Michael's side. He was spared from such a brutal death, but a slit of a throat was not a better fate. Two souls, dead in a violent hellfire and depraving pain. For this to actually happen, it would have taken a sadist or a psychopath. And was from Lucia. The innocent girl from Hill 58. The girl who inspired him to live that day. The girl whom he initially thought couldn't hurt a soul. She was still holding onto that knife, silent in the heat after battle, blood still hot and fresh on the blade.

Her first enemy couldn't have started any more horrifying than that.

For a while, Michael stood up from his bed, his gun on his hand, and was just looking at the carnage she had just left behind. Now the silence began to creep in again. The silence like that night on Hill 58. Or that cavalry charge. Lucia was still standing there, perhaps also looking at her own work as well. She probably couldn't believe that just happened right in front of her, just as surprised as Michael was. Who could have thought she could be so...monstrous? And yet.

She just protected him. She saved his life there. Without her, he would have been dead.


He called out to her. To see if she even responded to him. But no matter. Michael immediately stepped over the corpses, over to her before he wrapped an arm around her back, over to her shoulder, pulling her briefly into him. To let her know that he was here, not a dead body. That he was here, he was alive, and he was thankful.

He knew they both have to move soon, so he released her after a few seconds. But that few seconds was probably the most precious ones he never thought he would cherish.

"We have to go. Our squad's rendezvousing."
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