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 Omelettes and Omens [Maria]

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Sheepzami Sheephara

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PostSubject: Omelettes and Omens [Maria]   Tue May 02, 2017 5:43 pm


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Omlettes and Omens

:: Social Link Topic ::
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Monde Étape was a restaurant Cecilia only went to rarely, although that didn't mean she had any dislike of it. It was a small, unassuming diner with a rich history rooted in a group of islands and dating back to before the Divide; its menu took dishes and inspiration from countless different cultures and in doing so offered a wide variety of options that, as far as she was aware, no other individual store in the Backlight came close to matching. Usually she was too busy to visit it or the prospect simply didn't come to mind, but having skipped out on breakfast earlier in the morning and having little else to do that day, Cecilia decided to dine in there and made plans with Maria to eat together there.

As she waited for the arrival of her now commanding officer, the pink-haired girl couldn't help but lose herself in her thoughts. She tried to think of what she wanted to order and failing that some interesting conversation topics for when the nun-in-training arrived, but ultimately regardless of what subject she clung to her focus ended up drifting back to the information they had received during the debriefing. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't clear the memories from her head. It was... frustrating in some ways. It wasn't that she necessarily wanted to forget it, but she hadn't expected it to consume her train of thought for the entire day. Hopefully once Maria arrived, lunch with her would prove a sufficient distraction from the revelations of the early morning and the night before.

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-Endymion-
"We lose what is certain when we seek what is uncertain."
Cecilia
Her Bonds // SNS
Her Strength


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PostSubject: Re: Omelettes and Omens [Maria]   Tue May 02, 2017 11:31 pm

This day has been one of the busiest day of her life. Sure, there was helping out her parents' restaurant-bakery and there was the chaotic movement in the Church, but being a Cadet kept her working just as much. She was beginning to feel increasingly lethargic and wanted to break away for a moment of clarity. And that moment was here in Monde Étape. She was rather looking forward to all the food it had to offer. After having to deal with last night and the recent capture of a Psyche-Terrorist, many would agree that she deserved this kind of respite. The door slowly and wearily opened to herald her arrival. It took her a momentarily pause to search for a familiar pink-headed Cadet.



"Hey, you said you wanted a word, Cecilia?"

She tried to remain as amicable as possible while hiding the fatigue in her face. Maria sat in the chair near her fellow peer while carefully setting the coffin aside as she ignored the usual stares at it and her person. The Second Class Cadet observed her surroundings and remarked, "This place looks really nice..."

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PostSubject: Re: Omelettes and Omens [Maria]   Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:14 am

With her mind lost in thought, Cecilia initially would fail to notice Maria's arrival. It wasn't until the woman greeted her that she'd realize her presence and the abruptness of the introduction would startle her out of her contemplation and almost send her reeling from the shock. Letting out a quiet shriek, the girl would jolt back and turn her attention to the direction of the voice only to realize, much to her embarrassment, that the person who had greeted her was none other than the blue-haired nun she had been waiting for. "Jeez, you startled me for a second there Maria." She grumbled with a slightly exasperated face and a light blush, though she'd do her best to just laugh the situation off nonchalantly. Today really wasn't her day, was it? Still, it could only get better from here on out.


"Yep! One of my favorite places in the Backlight. I was hoping we could talk over lunch since----"

The sound of her stomach growling would cut off that sentence and finish it for her. "...since I skipped out on breakfast to make the meeting in time. That and we didn't really get to celebrate our recent success, so I figured now's better than never. There's a little something for everyone on the menu here, so I'm sure you'll like it." If all else failed they had some decent crumpets from what she had heard, so there was always that option to fall back on.

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-Endymion-
"We lose what is certain when we seek what is uncertain."
Cecilia
Her Bonds // SNS
Her Strength
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PostSubject: Re: Omelettes and Omens [Maria]   Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:48 am

Maria blinked at the sudden utterance escaping Cecilia. She now wondered if she did anything wrong. But, it seemed that her peer just wasn't paying attention. Despite a woman attired in a nun habit lugging in with a coffin didn't get her attention from the start. Normally most people would, but Cecilia was one of the first to not pay any immediate attention to her arrival. "Oh, sorry. I didn't mean to do that, ha ha..."

Despite it, Cecilia was a rather good sport about it. It promised to be an enjoyable lunch as far as the nun was concerned. She couldn't help, but allow an amused smile spread across her features as the pinkette's stomach grumbled. But she didn't say anything else about it as the Cadet was busy looking through the menu on her own and by the Lord Cecilia wasn't kidding. There was so many to choose from and Maria can't imagine where to start. Her eyes began to intently scan through the choices laid in front of her. She wanted to choose them all, but... it just didn't look good on her to be such a glutton.



"Oh man... Decisions, decisions... What are you picking, Cecilia?"

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PostSubject: Re: Omelettes and Omens [Maria]   Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:07 pm

Musing over the menu, Cecilia's eyes would hover greedily over the dessert section as they scanned the details about the various sweets the restaurant had to offer. Reluctantly, however, she would turn the page and flip through it in search of something more fitting. Maybe she could order a sundae or what-not near the end of lunch, but right now it made more sense to choose something closer to an actual meal right now. Of course, there was the question of whether or not to order a breakfast menu item or get something which fit the current time of day...


"I think I'll just get their basic omelette... Start out small and all that."

After a minute or two more of consideration, Cecilia would nod her head and place her copy of the menu face-down on the table. The omelette would work for her. It had been a while since she had one and if it didn't prove enough to hold her over for the rest of the afternoon then she could always order something else. "What about you Maria? Feel free to order whatever you like. As I said earlier, it'll be my treat." Hopefully she wasn't inconveniencing the nun too much by calling her out here like this. But then again, she had accepted the invitation so Cecilia was sure it was fine. If she had more important things to attend to then she would have simply refused.

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-Endymion-
"We lose what is certain when we seek what is uncertain."
Cecilia
Her Bonds // SNS
Her Strength
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PostSubject: Re: Omelettes and Omens [Maria]   Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:52 pm

So many to choose from and yet so little time to consume them all. What a dilemma. She never had this much trouble picking out anything since the great gala dinner with some of the Sunlake Palms' residence or when she had to choose which bullets to keep on hand during the Dragon's Maw operation. It would've taken so long for her to come to a final decision, until she heard the pink-headed Cadet gave her an opportunity to mirror her. But she decided against it. "Hmm, I suppose that chicken cutlet curry would be swell, I'll take it. And don't speak nonsense about a treat, I'll pay for it. I'm your higher-up, after all."

Difference of rank or not, Maria didn't mind taking the burden of the transaction. After all, she was taught at an early age to be considerate for others when possible. She set her menu aside, satisfied with the choice at the moment, but also to begin approaching a conversation. That's what they were here for, right?



"Thanks for bringing me here, Cecilia. And how are you holding up after last night?"

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PostSubject: Re: Omelettes and Omens [Maria]   Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:50 am


"Understood ma'am! I'll take that order to heart!"

It had been her intention to pay for the meal, but if Maria wanted to take care of it then Cecilia would respect that wish. It wasn't as if it particularly mattered considering the amount of financial support that came with being a Cadet; neither of them had any shortage of cash to her knowledge, so she saw no point in pressing the issue further. Maybe she'd try and negotiate the nun down to splitting the bill depending on just how much it was, but the prices weren't absurdly expensive the last time she came here, and the costs listed on the menu made her more than confident in wagering it wouldn't be some sort of colossal check.

Mimicking Maria with a gentle toss of the menu, Cecilia stared at her quietly trying to think of a topic to bring up. It probably would've been awkward for them to end up just sitting there in silence, so it was no doubt a blessing from Isla when Maria made the first move and spoke almost immediately after turning her attention away from the menu. Relief surged through Cecilia, but when the words actually reached her ears that flare of solace would be snuffed out in an instant.

"Thanks for bringing me here, Cecilia. And how are you holding up after last night?"

Of course she'd ask that: the question should have been certain even hours before it was spoken. This was her punishment for her reluctance in seizing control of the conversation. The memories that she was trying to distract herself from began bombarding and taunting her about the events that had occurred the night before, hazy flashes of the tragedy shown during the meeting. She tried to put on a fake smile and hide her worries, but...



So many people, so many lives lost all due to one simple mistake. Cecilia would give anything to rewind time so she could beg for the chance to assist in Alice's capture, but what was done was done and there was no taking it back. Even with the ominous implications surrounding that entity and the prince's secrecy about it, she had been able to take pride in such an astounding success, to find reassurance in it and reinforce an already ironclad sense of conviction. But what joy could she take away from such a massacre? She should have been used to it given the horrors she saw during the Eternal Divide, but the sight had paralyzed her when she first laid eyes on it. The daughter of the queen and the "Wild Card" were the ones carrying out the task, so how could they have failed? How could that mission have turned out so horribly?

She was afraid; not for herself, not in the slightest, but for the people she was tasked with protecting. A weed of doubt had sprung up in her garden of hubris in spite of her denial of it both inside and out. With a half-hearted grin intended to mask her fears from both Maria and herself, Cecilia would sluggishly wave her hand from side to side. "Do you even need to ask? How about you though? I'm guessing it must feel great to be rising through the ranks so quickly."

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-Endymion-
"We lose what is certain when we seek what is uncertain."
Cecilia
Her Bonds // SNS
Her Strength
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PostSubject: Re: Omelettes and Omens [Maria]   Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:47 pm

Maria wasn't a very social person to begin with. She never had such an opportunity for most of her life. But despite her lack of exposure, even she had the observation that Cecilia was less than okay. That mere flash of reluctance and the artificial curling of her smile were indications. Or at least, that's what she thought her eyes saw. But, she didn't bother to broach into that topic much. Last night's events were taxing. Perhaps it was due to the revelation in the morning that were depressing and the Cadet couldn't blame the Pinkette for that. It put a damper on her as well.



"I'm okay. But, I'm a little nervous. I just became a Cadet and now they're having me take charge.
It's... kinda scary."

Maria's response was more lackluster and a little more honest. She seriously expected the events in the Dragon's Maw to be the last time for her to take command of anything. It was a miracle her team to pull through under such shaky leadership. Having to take responsibility for other's lives was stressful. It's not because that her team lacked any cohesion, they had more than enough of it, but that their success and their lives relied on her foresight and decisions.


"But I'll get the hang of it soon enough. I have to," she firmly continued. As a leader, she needed to show a facade of confidence despite feeling all shaky inside. Whole teams relied on its leaders. These groups collapsed when they went down. If she was thrust into this role, Maria wasn't going to let them down. That much, she can at least assure herself and for others who followed her. This much said, she began to take a more composed and cool look. "That reminds me. Why didn't you follow my orders to stay back when I went to retrieve the hostage in the Maw?"

The air was suddenly different. Maria's eyes focused on Cecilia as they waited for an answer. It was one thing for Lisa to not follow orders, but it was another thing for others to follow her example. As the leader, she required cohesion and obedience from her teammates. Furthermore, as a leader, she had the responsibility to hash out issues and this included allowing members to voice their concerns or to explain themselves.

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PostSubject: Re: Omelettes and Omens [Maria]   Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:31 am

Fresh off their success at Dragon's Maw, Cecilia likely wouldn't have been able to understand Maria's reservations. After what she had seen during the morning though, she could easily empathize with her commanding officer. If the weight upon her shoulders was so heavy after seeing that then she couldn't imagine what it felt like to have to carry the burden of leadership so suddenly. So given the situation, Cecilia tried to do for her what she did for herself. "It's only natural feeling like that, isn't it? But it's wrong. You remember what Alex said, right? He was looking down on us and trying to get us to turn back, but we did what he couldn't, with practically no prior combat experience to boot, and succeeded with flying colors. We all proved our worth there, you especially; if we hadn't then you and Athena wouldn't have been considered in the first place." The rhetoric was shamelessly vain, but it had truth to it, or at least Cecilia was sure it did. There was no one she trusted more at the helm than Maria; she was admirable, an inspiration who had more than earned her position regardless of whatever personal thoughts she had on the matter.

Then again, the next question probably rendered all that reassurance ostensibly shallow. The atmosphere thickened and Cecilia squirmed under the nun's icy glare. A more childish, instinctive side of the girl cried out to her to look away until she could think of something believable to sputter out, but it was a side of her that she found herself more than capable of overpowering as she stared back with uncertain emotions but withstanding resolve. "Because I didn't want to see you or her suffer. If I let my allies wager their lives while I sat back comfortably in safety then I'd be betraying the reason I became a Cadet. If things took a shitty turn and everything came crashing down on top of us then..."


"I wanted to be the one who died."

She didn't say anything after that. The silence that would follow was as natural as dusk after dawn, night after day. Her eyes would drift down slowly to her feet and she'd struggle to think of something else to say as she nervously dangled them above the ground, but the answers evaded her no matter how far she reached or how long she ran chasing them. Some lip service probably would've sufficed, but the idea of lying to Maria's face and playing the part of a sycophant now of all times reeked of injustice and the stench of sin. So it was that after all that thinking all she could muster was a stifled, "Sorry."

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-Endymion-
"We lose what is certain when we seek what is uncertain."
Cecilia
Her Bonds // SNS
Her Strength
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PostSubject: Re: Omelettes and Omens [Maria]   Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:47 am

The assurances were helpful. It made her feel more confident in herself. That was something she required sorely as the new responsibilities were forced on her out of necessity. It was out of this necessity that she would play her role competently enough until no longer needed. And she, at least, hoped that that time would come soon. This was why she was being stern here. But she found herself hesitating at first before sighing. There was a lot in her that reminded Maria of herself. Was this what Father Jorge felt when her resolve was set to join both the Church and the Cadets? The nun remembered Jorge's reservations against her decision and tried fervently to look for a normal life instead. But, she couldn't. And now here was someone who was mirroring that.



"I need you to understand that you were our only reliable support at the time, the one who can heal us.
What do you think would happen if you went down? Just think about it for a moment."

She waited for a while for Cecilia to come to the conclusion. It should be obvious, however. If the one who can keep the team going was down, then their survivability is cut down drastically. That was a good reason why Maria didn't want anyone else to go. The Executor was an acceptable sacrifice should anything go wrong. At least, everyone else could survive without her. It was about what worked best for the sake of the mission first and the sake of the team second. There was a limit to how stupidity can stretch. Had she not experienced the training at the Church, Maria would've been more like Cecilia, but at the least she learned one had to open up their perspective on the matter.



"You're a great Cadet. But, don't say you want to die when you still have family waiting for you, dummy."

She felt awfully hypocritical acting like this. Maria was willing to give her life up for everyone else on that team. Each and everyone of them had family and friends to come back to. They had a dream to look forward to and most importantly, a life. But she didn't have any of these. Ever since the Divide, she lost everything. So there was no need for her to survive. As long as she didn't have to watch anyone else lose what was precious to them, her life was a cheap one to give.

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PostSubject: Re: Omelettes and Omens [Maria]   Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:52 am


Ultimately Maria was right. Rushing in like that was a fatal error no matter how confident she was in her abilities; they all had a role to fill and deviating from it would render any strategy null and void regardless of its quality. She couldn't entirely remember her thoughts during that specific instance given how quickly things escalated, but were she thinking straight she probably would have realized the absurd risks involved in throwing herself into the fray like that. Cecilia had let her emotions get the better of her and in a different situation her idiocy would have gotten every last one of them slaughtered. There was no use moping over it since everything turned out alright in the end, but she would nod at the nun to confirm she understood. No matter how she felt, insubordination was unacceptable when so much was at stake. "You're right. I won't let it happen again."

What she advised next though wasn't something Cecilia could just effortlessly internalize. The recruit's expression sharpened and her determination rapidly grew as she issued her melancholic reply with absolute certainty. "I'm not trying to throw my life away if that's what you're worried about. I have no interest in an early death and suicide's for cowards anyway. But..." Her voice trailed off for a few seconds only for her to swiftly yank it back in and continue from where she left off. "I'm not the only one who has family or loved ones. Everyone has someone who cherishes them and it's delusional to think otherwise. Maybe it isn't obvious at first, but there's always at least one person out there: one who suffers when they suffer, one who weeps when they weep... No matter how alone in the world somebody thinks they are, someone is right there beside them even if they never notice it. So I can't let them give their life for me. I wouldn't be saving people grief, I'd only be forcing it onto a different victim, making them go through hell for my sake."

She had done enough of that five years ago. She'd never let it happen again; if that night had given her anything back in exchange for all that it took, it was that wish. However sure of herself and her ideals she was though, Cecilia had to wonder if she ended up blabbing about too much. Would it have been better to let Maria think she'd devote herself to her own personal safety? If she was making the woman fearful or concerned for her than in its own way she was defeating the purpose of her desires. Like her foolishness at the corrupted inn though, those sentiments could no longer be retrieved the second they came pouring out of her mouth: there was no way to reverse what was already done.

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Her Bonds // SNS
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PostSubject: Re: Omelettes and Omens [Maria]   Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:19 am

She was glad that Cecilia was understanding what she did wrong. Most Cadets could do that without requiring to use her powers as a higher rank in the group. But there were some, especially of royal lineage, that made it necessary. And even then, Maria wasn't sure her authority was surely felt. It was such a headache and it complicated things for someone who was new to leading a team. While she was initially glad for Cecilia, it was growing obvious the sentiments couldn't be held back. In other words, she didn't really learn a thing. It was even more of a headache, but unlike Lisa, the reasons were at least altruistic in nature and she was the same too. Nevertheless, it was still a headache for her as she was responsible for their lives.



"Believe me, I understand how you feel. But we can't let that altruism get ahead of us when we want to pursue the best possible result for us and the innocents we are supposed to protect. We have to be more mindful of our options. I need you to understand that, alright?"

She doubted it would be the last. But it was better to know now than later when it came to future operations. That way, at least the nun Cadet can try to be more mindful of the possibilities that she could see in front and around her. And at least, Cecilia would be less infuriating than Lisa when it came to following orders. Looking at Cecilia made her wonder about the other Cadets. They weren't very different from each other when it came to motivations when they swore fealty to the Queen. But she felt and knew that wasn't enough to understand them completely. She would have to talk to each and everyone of them at some point.



"By the way, I never saw you attack the enemy once. I'm not complaining about your support, it's been a god-send in our last mission. But is there a reason why you don't want to attack the demons?"

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PostSubject: Re: Omelettes and Omens [Maria]   Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:24 am

"...Alright." There wasn't much she had to say in response to that, so all could she offer was simple acceptance. Ultimately when it came down to it, the conversation had developed into something too broad and multi-faceted for her to casually think up another spiel and pin down every possibility in an instant. Beyond cycling back around to what had already been touched upon, Cecilia couldn't see any sort of direction for it to take and it seemed Maria shared that opinion. Steeling herself as to appear unfazed by the next touchy topic, the girl would wave her hand dismissively and toss out a retort that was equal parts genuine and false.


"That? There's really nothing to it. I hate demons."

As she spoke the last word, a hint of her vitriol for the monstrosities would seep through the otherwise nonchalant words. Whatever the nun chose to believe, she certainly wasn't lying about that part -- Cecilia Elise Hunt despised the creatures with every fiber of her being. And yet, at the same time... "I just figured it was better strategically speaking for me to conserve my energy. My Persona's talents don't lie in combat, so..." Her eyes flickered gold for a second and she grimaced slightly at the sound of retributive static piercing her ears, but other than that she did a surprisingly skilled job at maintaining her composure. Perhaps she had her guard up after being caught off it on previous subjects already.

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Cecilia
Her Bonds // SNS
Her Strength
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PostSubject: Re: Omelettes and Omens [Maria]   Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:46 am

Maria would be lying that she was satisfied with Cecilia's acknowledgement. But she wisely deigned to let that discussion end there without needlessly creating any friction within their relationship. While already taking into account of Cecilia's natural tendencies, there was still something else that didn't quite sit well with her. The sudden flash of gold in her eyes and the grimace, there was something going on here. And the way her concern showed was indicative of her noticing, "Are you... alright?"

There was a lot that wasn't well understood about Personas, especially within the realm of the Church's range of knowledge. The Eternal Divide by certain definitions a recent event. It was the first time that the supernatural finally became widely known in the World. And it was from that time that Personas were revealed. She wondered who to approach about these ghostly apparitions. Something about them didn't quite settle well with her, including the time when Athena took on that monstrous appearance in the last mission. But at the least, she could take some heart in the fact that they weren't demons.

And speaking of them...



"...I see. But even so, it is important to learn to defend yourself, we can't protect you all the time.
If that is the case, would you like me to train you?"

She would've normally hesitated at first on training someone how to fight. It wasn't like the Cadet was any kind of master in the martial arts. If anything, she was still remarkably new despite the grueling procedures and practice. But knowing that Cecilia could never fight back on her own was a weakness in the team that required some mending. After all, she wanted to increase the party's chances of survival, didn't she?

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PostSubject: Re: Omelettes and Omens [Maria]   Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:01 am

It took a moment for Maria's question to register which only added to how startling it was. Cecilia had been hoping she wouldn't notice anything wrong; she didn't want the nun to worry anymore about her, especially over nothing, but it seemed she screwed up there judging by her reaction. Shifting into damage control immediately, she'd rub the back of her head and laugh it off to the best of her abilities with a false expression of relief. "Yeah of course. Do I not look alright? Might be hunger taking its toll on me I guess. Hopefully they'll be ready to take our orders soon." Seriously, what was taking so long? It was getting a little vexing at this point. Maybe it wouldn't last more than a minute at most, but any sort of break from this discussion would be nice. Her evening was steadily starting to feel more like an interrogation than lunch with a friend.


"That's kind of you to offer but----"

Before she could finish her excuse, control was temporarily wrested from her lips as she felt a wave of suppressed feelings rise to the surface. There was no outward indicator of any sort of internal struggle this time and "Cecilia" would graciously nod as she continued the sentence without stopping.

"I hope it isn't too much trouble Maria. If you've got the time though I'd be more than happy to train with you! Even if I'm not on the frontlines, there's no excuse for slouching in an area that crucial. We all need to be at peak performance as soldiers of order, right?"

___________________________________


-Endymion-
"We lose what is certain when we seek what is uncertain."
Cecilia
Her Bonds // SNS
Her Strength
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