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Literature
Asteri Tale Chapter 37 Lingering Regrets
    Alex recalled his blade then turned from Arlin to Syrus and sighed.
    "Well, now's your chance." he huffed. The girls looked at him with a bewildered expression.
    "Yes..." Arlin utter before jumping to his feet. Alex flinched.
    "Wh-wait!" he attempted to stop Arlin as he charged past. "I didn't mean you."
    "Time for you to get what you deserved all along!" Arlin roared as he leapt through the air, his hands charged with a dark mana.
    "STOP!" Alex shouted as he removed his scarf. He flicked it, wrapping it around Arlin and pulled him to the ground.
    "LET ME GO, TRAITOR!" Arlin screamed as he squirmed, trying to break free. Alex knotted the ends of the scarf around Arlin despite his shrieking.
    "This isn't going to solve anything!" Alex hissed. "Deep down you know that!"
    "Even you betray me?!" Arlin growled. "If I can't kill him, I'll kill his sister instead!" Alex's jaw
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Literature
Asteri Tale Chapter 36 The Fall
   There was a loud crash as Syrus opened the door.
   "The hell you doin' out so late?" a deepish voice berated. At the dining room table sat his father (Yuan Kanamura), as his feet, shards of broken glass from an empty beer bottle that had been knocked over. Syrus balled his hands into fists and looked away in anger.
   "I was working on a project for school." he huffed. His father stood up and staggered over to him and leaned in close.
   "'s that so?" he asked in a condescending tone. His words slurred from his drunken state.
   “Ugh, you reek.” Syrus scoffed. “Just let me in, I have class tomorrow.”
    “That’s no way to talk to me!” he shouted as he stumbled back, before throwing a punch. Syrus flinched but failed to avoid it. “You should know better than to talk back to me.” He growled. Syrus kept his face turned down, blood trickled out from his lips. <i>
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Literature
Asteri Tale Chapter 35 In Pursuit of the Truth
    "When were you gonna tell us what happened?" Sal huffed, his eyes narrowed into a scowl. Skai recoiled back and averted his gaze.
    "You made such a big deal when we leave stuff out!" Aren followed up. "You know people think I did that to him?!"
    "I-I..." Skai struggled to find a response, because they were right. The rest of the group looked around nervously, unsure of how to react.
    "I'm sorry." Tori hung his head. "I should have said something."
    "Why?" Kelly asked flatly. "You weren't involved, it wasn't your job to say anything." her eyes darted over to Syrus, who sat next to Skai.
    "I'm still having a problem wrapping my head around the thought of Murasa doing that." Anya uttered. The twins agreed.
    "He's always been like that." Syrus finally spoke.
    "Since when?" Mini whined. "He sure as hell wasn't the last time!"
    "I've told you again and again to not provoke hi
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Literature
Asteri Tale Chapter 34 In The Dark
    "You WHAT?!" Carmen shrieked. "How do you know where he lives?"
    "I followed him home that day it rained." Kelly answered flatly.
    "I told you to apologize not stalk him!" Carmen huffed. Kelly averted her eyes as a couple of guys laughed.
    "What's the big deal?" Sal asked.
    "You don't think that's weird?"
    "He was fresh out of the shower." Kelly uttered.
    "HA?" Aren perked up. 
    "Oh my?" Sal grinned mischievously and elbowed Kelly. "Like what you saw?" to his question she gave no response, just turned away as her face flushed.
    "Ooooh!" Aren chuckled.
    "He had a towel you twat!" she snapped. Carmen signed and rested her face on her hands. The morning announcement chime interrupted their banter.
    "Ugh, him again." Aren groaned.
    "Good morning students of Kaede Academy." Akira's voice resounded through the speakers.
 
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Literature
Asteri Tale Chapter 33 Futile Resistance
    “What the hell am I supposed to do?” Syrus sighed as he lounged back on his bed. “Do I really need to tell him everything?” he thought back on the events that transpired earlier. “How does Alex know?” The warning he gave resounded in his mind. “Even if it would fix things, I can’t bring myself to tell him the truth.” Syrus closed his eyes, deliberating the situation he was in.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
    “Keep it down! I can hear you mumbling to yourself through the wall!” Kori shouted from the hall.
    “Oh, sorry!” he called back “Have I been speaking out loud this whole time?” he covered his mouth.
    “Just go to sleep already, nerd!” she huffed. He could hear her footsteps. There was a soft click as she closed the door behind her. “If only I COULD sleep.” he rolled his eyes. Things were peaceful be
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Literature
Asteri Tale Chapter 32 In the Deep
    The stagnant mana lingered in the air. Once the commotion died down, Ceres emerged from behind a building as few yards away from where the altercation took place. Closely behind followed his familiar, a large light furred tiger. He took quick strides towards the aftermath. He had a slightly blissful expression as he looked over the scorched street. "I knew she was wrong about him!" After observing all he considered important, Ceres mounted his furry companion.
    "Let's go, Tig." he uttered. At his command, the beast leapt up and into an odd sigil. Instantly the pair was teleported to Ceres's front door. He hopped off the large beast and pulled out a key ring. Tigris bowed his head and dissolved into a cloud of leaves. Ceres took a quick look around before unlocking and entering his home. The coast was clear, none of his family had returned while he was out. "I never expected to find Alex at the origin of such intense mana."
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Literature
Asteri Tale Chapter 31 Burning Betrayal
    The rest of the day passed by in a blur. Smoldering with rage, Arlin silently left school. Alex grew more cautious, troubled by his intense emotional state. With a disgruntled huff, Arlin threw his bag down at the door and removed his shoes. From the hall, his mother (Nina Akseli) peered around the corner.
    "Everything ok at school today?" she asked in a concerned tone.
    "Tsk...whatever." he grumbled and darted to his room. He let out a low growl and dropped on to his bed. "What's so great about Sharpe anyway?" He buried his face in a pillow and screamed. "'He's' after him and Syrus chose him too." he rolled onto his back and looked to the ceiling. "I'll show them not to write me off." he declared and spent the night practicing new magic.
    Arlin awoke to the sound of his mother's voice.
    "Rakas, its time for you to leave." she peeked in his room and said in a sweet voice.
 
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Literature
Asteri Tale Chapter 30 Coming Forward
    Tori inspected the wound using the full length mirror on the back side of his bedroom door. It was still pretty swollen but was healing well for only a days time. He winced in pain as he leaned over to grab new bandages to dress it, before leaving for school.
    "I don't think the guys noticed..." Tori sighed. He'd really hoped that once things calmed down, that Aren would be willing to talk, so he kept the altercation a secret from the others. "There's no way Sai didn't notice though." his eyes shifted to the wall separating their rooms. "She's very...perceptive to things like this." Once he finished adjusting the bandages around his wait, he threw on his shirt, packed up his bag and left for school. Sai kept to herself as usual as they sat around in the courtyard waiting for the school day to start. Jem and Mini buzzed around Skai, teasing him as they usually do. Mira and Anya discussed fashion trends, while Kid and Kelly
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Asteri Tale Chapter 29 Revisiting Insecurity
    "What the hell even happened yesterday?" The bell rang, dismissing school for the day. Alex apprehensively grabbed his bag and headed for the meeting room. "Last thing I remember, I'm walking down the street after that fight, then suddenly I wake up in the computer lab and it's dark out." He let out a long sigh as the rest of the disciplinary committee filled in their seats. "This isn't like me."
    "My, my Captain, that was quite impressive!" Akira jeered playfully.
    "Oh, ha! Even I have my worries." Alex scoffed back unamused. "Things just keep getting stranger here." He thought over the school day as the council conducted the meeting. "Arata was clearly injured, yet he was no where to be seen during the encounter with Kinai." Alex leaned on his hand as he tried to piece together the gap in his memory. "And what the hell was with Saveli?"
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Literature
Asteri Tale Chapter 28 Ophiuchus
    "Oi!" Pella poked Owen's cheek. "Wake up!"
    "Mmmn 5 more...'s" he languidly swatted at her hand.
    "You are going to be late!" she snapped back unamused.
    "Mmn...fine 1 hour...zzzz." he rolled over.
    "YOU! You meant HOURS?" she sighed in disbelief. "GET UP!" she yanked on his ankle causing him to fall to the floor.
    "OUPH!" he grimaced. "Geez, I get it..." he yawned and pushed up. "Don'tcha think that was a tad unnecessary?" he grumbled and dug around in the piles of laundry on the ground beside him.
    "You would never get up if I didn't!" Pella scowled and back out of the room. Owen gave a short laugh. "Besides, Brent and Lance have left already!"
    "Yes, mom!" Owen jeered playfully. Pella narrowed her eyes as she gave him one last condescending glance before walking out of the door. Owen threw on some reasonably matching clothing and headed to the foyer. -Ever since he'd run away fro
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Literature
Asteri Tale Chapter 11 Rat SFW
   The first day off from school. Carmen sat in a studio. She didn't really have a reason to come in today, she just felt like it. Syrus stopped coming after his mother passed, he was also hospitalized from the incident. Alex stopped coming even before that. With the two of them gone, Arlin had no reason to come anymore. Carmen didn't care too much for any of the others but it was better than being at home. "Home..." she sighed. It didn't feel like home. She walked outside for some fresh air. She sat against a side wall out of the way and just breathed. She had come a long way since she moved from England with her mother almost 10 years ago. As she was reminiscing, a tall figure approached.
   "What do you want?" she sneered at him.
   "I got worried when I couldn't find you this morning." he feigned concern with his dark voice. "I've been looking all over for you." he gave a devious smile.
   "No one asked you to find me, cut the crap!" s
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Literature
Asteri Tale Chapter 27 Aries
    Aren and Tori sat at Gentle Leaf Cafe eating lunch for Aren's birthday, when a message came in.
BZZT BZZT
    Aren jumped and slipped his phone out of his pocket.
    "What is it now?" he groaned. Tori looked up inquisitively. Aren's eyes shot open.
    "What?!" Tori asked panicked.
    "Stay here!" Aren roared and ran out of the building. Tori stared awe struck at the empty side of the table. "Cornering a small girl, you monster!" Aren cursed under his breath as he headed in the direction the message disclosed. As he approached his destination, he slowed his pace. He had an eerie feeling as he peered around the corner. "This isn't right..." he observed the streets. There was no evidence of a fight, everything was progressing as usual for a Sunday afternoon. He joined in the crowds as he searched for a familiar husky brunet. He veered off onto a side street leading to what he believed was the address Pella ha
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Literature
Asteri Tale Chapter 26 Dog
    Kye gave a big yawn as she was woken up by her obnoxious brother. 
    "I made the team!" Jun cheered loudly. He had been celebrating since the previous night. Kye sighed and walked out into the room occupied by her brother and their mother. "Can we go visit dad? I wanna tell him about it!" he stared expectantly at their mother. She gave an uncomfortable smile in response.
    "Oh, cut it out!" Kye scoffed. Jun jumped, having not realized she was behind him. "He's in jail, we can't just go visit like that." Their mother turned her face down.
    "Meh!" Jun pouted in an exaggerated fashion. Kye scoffed and shuffled into the kitchen to grab herself breakfast. After pouting a bit, Jun moved on and returned to his previous celebration. -3 years earlier their father was framed for the death of a married couple who's house burned down unexpectedly. Kye never understood why people has always been so prejudice against their family but their moth
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Literature
Asteri Tale Chapter 25 Orion
    Kelly dragged Kid along until they met up with the rest. After Alex and company's plans failed a message was sent out about the decoys.
    "Ey! You alright?" Ria ran over to Kid and Kelly. Pella calmly followed behind.
    "Ah! And you are?" Kid blinked rapidly as the young girls flitted around him.
    "Riiight, we were never formally introduced." Pella bowed her head politely.
    "Shit! You're right!" Ria grinned. "I'm Ria, Imani Ria!" she winked.
    "Evaline Capella." Pella bowed again.
    "Ah-um, how do you know me?" Kid staggered around. "D-do you know them Dunley san?"
    "Yes, their Kanamura's sister's friends." Kelly calmly recited the rehearsed response, in order to keep the guardian business from Kid.
    "OH!" Kids eyes lit up. "Nice to meet you then!" The sound of a large group filled the air.
    "Geez, why do you have to get in all these fights with Arlin?" Kori ch
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Literature
Asteri Tale Chapter 24 Pig
    The next two classes passed by at a stagnant pace. The air was heavy with tension thick enough to be cut by a knife. At the break, Kaz observed Ed more intently. "He took that harder than I meant it..." He sighed to himself. "I don't regret what I said, though" Ed was very obviously avoiding eye contact with Kaz. Kaz leaned his elbows on the desk and rested his head on his hands. "Maybe I pushed him too hard, he never wanted to be my friend in the first place." He looked down at his empty notebook page as a dull ache emerged in his chest. "He's finally fed up with me so he intends to break it off here, huh?" He swallowed hard to keep his sorrow from overflowing. Once lunch came they left class as usual. Kaz tried to catch up to Ed as they funneled out the door.
    "Oi, Sevan!" he called out. Ed's body jolted but he didn't turn around, instead weaving himself into the crowd. Kaz sighed.
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I redesigned Pella but DeviantArt won't let me change the main file for it. Wonderful.
Every time I see feedback notifications, I get excited only to be let down by llamas. 
I can't believe it took me this long to finish the first plot arc! Can you believe I started posting in Feb 2016? It's been almost 3 years! Anyway, I've started on Chapter 38 but it may take me some time to finish due to my busy school schedule. The next arc in the story isn't going to be nearly as depressing as the first. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. :>
    Alex recalled his blade then turned from Arlin to Syrus and sighed.
    "Well, now's your chance." he huffed. The girls looked at him with a bewildered expression.
    "Yes..." Arlin utter before jumping to his feet. Alex flinched.
    "Wh-wait!" he attempted to stop Arlin as he charged past. "I didn't mean you."
    "Time for you to get what you deserved all along!" Arlin roared as he leapt through the air, his hands charged with a dark mana.
    "STOP!" Alex shouted as he removed his scarf. He flicked it, wrapping it around Arlin and pulled him to the ground.
    "LET ME GO, TRAITOR!" Arlin screamed as he squirmed, trying to break free. Alex knotted the ends of the scarf around Arlin despite his shrieking.
    "This isn't going to solve anything!" Alex hissed. "Deep down you know that!"
    "Even you betray me?!" Arlin growled. "If I can't kill him, I'll kill his sister instead!" Alex's jaw dropped as the words left Arlin's mouth. An overwhelming sense of dread washed over him. Syrus, who had been silent for a while, started toward the two. Slow at first, gradually getting faster until he was at a full sprint.
    "FUCK YOU!" his voice bellowed with an uncharacteristic rage. He drew his balled fist back and swung with great force. His fist struck Arlin across the face, the impact caused him to recoil back and blood to splatter on the ground with a loud crack. "To think that, even after all this time, I still considered you my friend!" tears started to form in his eyes.
    "Don't start with that shit again!" Arlin growled. Blood dribbled down his face from his nose.
    "Why do you think your mother hates me?" Syrus asked as he tried to suppress his emotions.
    "Because you're an asshole!" Arlin snapped and spit blood at Syrus.
    "Why was she so quick to defend my father after he murdered my mother?!" Syrus continued his questions, ignoring Arlin's remarks.
    "Wh-what does that have to do with anything?" Arlin scoffed.
    "My father was having an affair with your mother!" Syrus's voice wavered with a mixture of anger and despair. "When my mother found out, she filed for a divorce, so he killed her!" All the animosity faded from Arlin's face. "She did everything in her power to discredit me, she threatened me to keep quiet!" At this, Arlin fell to his knees as tears streamed down Syrus's face. "If the nature of their relationship was discovered, it would have implicated her in the murder as well!"  Syrus covered his face with his trembling hands. "Your mother blames my mother, my very existence, for keeping my father from her!" Syrus exhaled loudly to keep from sobbing.
    "N-no, th-that can't..." Arln gasped.
    "There's photographic proof, Arlin." Alex interjected. "Your mother, a lawyer no less, lied in order to save face. She even helped destroy evidence." He dug out some bandages from his bag and knelt down to Arlin. "Look down, you don't want to gag on your own blood, do you?" He applied the wad of bandages to Arlin's nose.
    "How did you know?" Syrus uncovered his face and looked to Alex with a vulnerable expression.
    "I had, no I still do, have a lot of respect for your mother." Alex sighed as he pulled out his phone. "When I heard about her death, I did some digging on my own."
    "You never were one to leave things unexplained." Syrus chuckled bitterly.
    "Hold this." Alex freed Arlin's hands to hold the bandages on his face. "You broke his nose, so I'll be taking him to the hospital." Alex stated flatly. "Had he not done that, I'd have your ass for that threat!" Alex glared at Arlin as he walked over to Syrus. Arlin sighed and closed his eyes, wracked by guilt. Alex leaned in close to Syrus and fished something out of his pocket. "While I was at the studio, I saw your father snooping around so I took the key to your mother's office." he pressed his hand into Syrus's, passing the key along discreetly. "In the top left drawer there's a hidden compartment with a letter addressed to you." he whispered then took a step back. "And no, I didn't open it, don't worry." Alex waved as he walked back to Arlin.
    "Thanks." Syrus forced a grin as he dropped the key into his pocket. Alex turned his head to face Syrus once more.
    "Your mother was a great person, she deserved better." He paused, preparing to say more when a sleek, black, stretched Rolls-Royce pulled up. "Ah he's here." Alex uttered as his train of thought was derailed. A well-dressed man started to exit the car. "I'll take care of it, you can stay in the car." Alex waved, gesturing to him to sit back down. "Take it easy, Syrus! You know where to reach me if your shit-stain of a father causes you any more problems." Alex called out one last time as he helped Arlin into the back seat of the luxury car. Once the doors shut, the car drove off.
    "WHAT WAS THAT?!" Jem gawked absolutely baffled.
    "Alex's parents are incredibly rich, that was his butler." Syrus announced. Aside from that small outburst, the group silently stared in awe. Skai walked up to Syrus and patted him on the shoulder without a word.
    After getting treated at the hospital, Arlin was escorted home by Alex.
    "You have a lot to process." Alex spoke.
    "Yeah..." Arlin groaned softly.
    "I'll leave you to that, but I'm here for you if you need anything." Alex gave him a brief one-arm hug.
    "Why did you do it?" Arlin aske as Alex was about to step away. "Won't this cause you trouble?"
    "Because I'm 'too damn compassionate for my own good'." Alex jeered, quoting Syrus from before. Arlin stared back confused. Alex let out a short breathy laugh. "Get some rest dude." Alex grinned before turning and walking off. Arlin shuffled into his room and plopped on his bed. His face was bruised, and his nose swollen under the cast. "What am I even supposed to do?" The scene replayed in his mind. "Was he trying to push me away so I wouldn't be put in this difficult situation?" Arlin thought to himself. His face ached as he started to doze off. There was a soft click of the front door opening. "She's home." he snapped back to reality. "How am I supposed to face her after everything that happened?" The unrest gnawed at him until he got up. "I can't not say anything now that I know." He charged out the door to speak to his mother. She was setting her briefcase down as he walked out.
    "Mom." he called out to her from the doorway.
    "Oh kultaseni, what are you doing up so la-" she started to ask as she turned around. She stopped when she saw his face. "What happened to you?" She ran over to him in a panic, she smelled of liquor.
    "Syrus punched me." he grimaced, remembering the pain.
    "What?" she howled. "I thought I told you to stay away from him!"
    "I...I deserved it." Arlin shrugged. "I threatened Kori, so he got mad."
    "Wh-why were you talking to him in the first place." she asked frantically.
    "What? Are you afraid I'd learn the truth?" he sneered.
    "What do you mean by that?" she yelled.
    "How you lied about your relationship with their father or that you committed perjury to clear his name last year!" he scoffed "You weren't 'just friends' in college."
    "My affiliation with Yuan is none of your concern!" she roared. "Who are you to question the truth?"
    "What truth do you speak of?" Arlin retorted. "The truth in your delusions?"
    "GET OUT!" she shouted in rage.
    "Wh-what?" Arlin stuttered, baffled by the sudden shift in tone.
    "You are no longer my son, get out of my house!" her eyes burned with hysteria. Arlin took a step back while keeping his eyes locked on her.
    "M-mom?" he uttered, his voice trembled.
    "OUT!" she shrieked "I no longer have a son!" Arlin took off running out the front door. Even with the result, he didn't regret taking a stand against her. He pulled his phone from his pocket and called Alex to come pick him up.
    Once they arrived at Alex's house, Arlin collapsed to the floor.
    "I can't believe this." he sighed, the exhaustion had set in.
    "Sorry." Alex grimaced. "It didn't occur to me that she would kick you out."
    "Ha, I'm not even upset." Arlin laughed as Alex helped him to the sofa.
    "What? Why not?" Alex questioned dubiously.
    "Using her authority to control who I can and can’t talk to was getting obnoxious." Arlin complained.
    "I can understand that..." Alex grumbled. "So, what are you going to do now?"
    "I want to make things right with Syrus." Arlin perked up. Alex averted his eyes. "Ah, sorry."
    "Don't, you two have been friends forever." Alex countered. "Don't let me stand in the way of that." she shrugged.
    "You're still my friend too, ya know!" Arlin pouted.
    "I-I know, but they won't like that." Alex frowned, his face flushed lightly.
    "So, that's not my problem, it's theirs." Arlin shrugged. Alex choked back laughter.
    "HAA," Alex exhaled loudly. "Let's go by your house tomorrow to get your stuff."
    "Do you think your parents would let me stay?" Arlin asked.
    "Ah crap... I didn't think about that." Alex gasped under his breath.
    "We can figure it out later if they don't." Arlin tried to be optimistic.
    "It wouldn't hurt for you to think things through rather than acting impulsively, for a change." Alex smirked as he poked fun at Arlin. Arlin sneered back in response. "Should we call it for the night?" Alex eyed Arlin then the clock.
    "Yeah." Arlin answered enthusiastically. The boys headed down the hall before Arlin stopped part way.
    "Yes?" Alex asked skeptically.
    "I just thought of something!" Arlin cheered and took off back down the hall. Alex groaned and followed behind him. Once Alex reached the foyer, he expected to see Arlin but he was nowhere to be seen. "What are you doing?" Alex scoffed. Soon after, Arlin emerged from the kitchen with a knife. "WHAT!?" Alex gaped in shock. "What is that for?!"
    "I want to prove that I'm turning over a new leaf." Arlin cheered.
    "What does a knife have to do with that?!" Alex asked with growing concerns.
    "New me, new look!" Arlin smirked as he griped his long ponytail in his hand. Before Alex could reach him to stop him, Arlin cleaved off the long section of hair from the base of the hair tie holding it in place.
    "What did I just say about being impulsive?!" Alex chastised him. "Fuck! Come here, let me even it out." he muttered. Arlin handed Alex the knife and he spent a few minutes touching up the edges to make it straight. "You idiot." Alex sighed and dragged him to the game room, which he had prepped for his guest.
    "Night Alex." Arlin grinned.
    "Night." Alex paused. "Dork!" he smirked and went to his bedroom. Arlin lied on the plush couch and pondered the events of the past two and a half weeks until his eyes grew heavy and he fell asleep.
    In the morning, Arlin and Alex left for school and Adrian headed to Arlin's house to pack up his possessions. They split up once they arrived on campus. Arlin spotted the group among the masses of students. He calmed his nerves the best he could and approached. It grew quiet.
    "You cut your hair?" The twins gasped simultaneously. Arlin turned his face down bashfully and scratched his flushed cheek.
    "Arlin..." Syrus spoke up solemnly. "What happened?"
    "Ha, you noticed..." Arlin hummed to himself. "My mom and I got into a fight soooo," he drew it out, feeling awkward around the people he'd attacked countless times before. "She kicked me out."
    "Seriously?" Sal jumped up.
    "Yeah...but it's better this way!" he forced a smile. "I wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing she was in the same house, after all she's done."
    "That's rough." Tori murmured. Arlin stepped forward toward the group.
    "I know it doesn't really mean much but I'm gonna say it anyway." he started before bowing to them. "I am so incredibly sorry for my actions!"
    "Hmph!" Aren huffed. Tori growled at him.
    "I-I'm sorry too." Syrus played with his hair as he returned the apology. "I didn't handle that the best way, you had every right to be mad." Arlin perked up and looked at Syrus. He smiled weakly and opened his arms. Arlin's face lit up and he jumped into Syrus's arms and squeezed tight.
    "I said some appalling things too." Skai lowered his head, catching his glasses before they fell off his face. "I apologize as well, Akseli."
    "How can you guys just forgive him like that?" Aren scoffed.
    "You heard it too." Sai scolded him. "Besides he was genuine with his apology." Aren groaned but backed down.
    "He's been through a lot too!" Mira stood up. "Let me heal that for you." she held out her hands.
    "Oh, no thanks!" Arlin grinned. "It serves as a reminder that I need to atone for what I did."
    "That's quite mature." Kelly commented.
    "Meh, I'm the same age as most of you!" Arlin pouted. Throughout the day the group gradually warmed up to him. After school, they headed to Gentle Leaf Café. Alex met up with Adrian to finish packing Arlin's things. Inside, they saw Skai's mother waiting. Skai's eyes widened in shock until he remembered the shop closed early on the weekends.
    "How are things, mother?" he asked politely. She looked over the large group a bit perplexed.
    "There's more of you each time I see you." she giggled. Skai grimaced and blushed.
    "Oh, you mean me?" Arlin hopped up. "Hi, I'm Akseli Arlin!" he introduced himself eagerly.
    "Heavens what happened to you?" She covered her mouth in awe. Syrus looked away anxiously.
    "Ah, a lot." Arlin withheld the truth to not cause a scene.
    "Do you feel alright?" She asked frantically. "Do you need some ice?"
    "Oh no, I'm fine." Arlin tried to evade the subject. "I got some rest at a friend's house last night, I feel fine now!"
    "Why a friend, what about your parents?"
    "My dad died when I was little, and my mom disowned me." Arlin blurted out without thinking.
    "WHAT?" She choked in dismay. "Do you have a place to stay?"
    "Uh..." Arlin swallowed hard. "I shouldn't have said that."
    "There's a spare room with us, it may not be much, but we'd love to have you!" she offered to him.
    "M-mom!" Skai darted over. "That was dad's."
    "Honey we can't let your poor friend live on the street." she pleaded. Skai's mouth hung open, there was nothing he could say that would change her mind.
    "I'd have to get my stuff." Arlin meekly argued.
    "That won’t be a problem dear!" she declared. "I'll get the car." then she ran out the café.
    "Is she always like this?" Arlin turned to Skai bewildered by what just occurred.
    "Yes...sorry." he groaned and buried his face in his hands. Arlin pulled out his phone and dialed a number.
    "Hey, are you done over there?" he asked softly.
    ["Yeah, sorry about my father."] Alex answered back.
    "Well, uh...you see..." Arlin tried to find a way to word it as to not raise any suspicions from his company. "I uh, have a place to drop it off at."
    ["Oh? Wow you work fast."] Alex teased.
    "Hush!" Arlin whined. "We're gonna come by and get it soon, apparently." he followed in an unsure tone.
    ["Ah, so I should disappear?"]
    "Yeah, thanks for the help." Arlin tried not to sound too guilty. "I'll make it up to you later."
    ["Nah man, take it easy while you recover."]
    "Un." Arlin moped and the called ended. Syrus locked eyes with Arlin. Before anything could be said, Skai's mother came back in, with a car parked outside. "Well, later." Arlin waved. He, Skai and Skai's mother entered the car and drove off, to move Arlin into their spare room.
   There was a loud crash as Syrus opened the door.
   "The hell you doin' out so late?" a deepish voice berated. At the dining room table sat his father (Yuan Kanamura), as his feet, shards of broken glass from an empty beer bottle that had been knocked over. Syrus balled his hands into fists and looked away in anger.
   "I was working on a project for school." he huffed. His father stood up and staggered over to him and leaned in close.
   "'s that so?" he asked in a condescending tone. His words slurred from his drunken state.
   “Ugh, you reek.” Syrus scoffed. “Just let me in, I have class tomorrow.”
    “That’s no way to talk to me!” he shouted as he stumbled back, before throwing a punch. Syrus flinched but failed to avoid it. “You should know better than to talk back to me.” He growled. Syrus kept his face turned down, blood trickled out from his lips. “Just a little longer until I can take her away from this bastard.” He held himself back to keep from causing a bigger commotion late at night. Eventually his father backed off and staggered to his room. Once the door closed and Syrus heard the sound of his father crash into bed, Syrus pulled out a broom to clean up the mess he had left. He made his way up the stairs to rinse out his mouth, which had been cut up by his teeth. He spit out a mix of blood, saliva and water as he inspected his swollen lip. He went to his room, groaned then turned off the light to go to sleep.
    The next morning Syrus rolled out of bed. He looked down at his pillow to see a face print of blood and drool. “Ew.” He rubbed his cheek, it was moist. He glanced in the mirror as he prepared for school. The right side of his jaw was bruised, and his lip was cut. He washed his face again and left with Kori. She averted her eyes. “That’s what the yelling was about.”
    When he arrived on campus, he popped his collar up to obscure his face to avoid causing a scene so early in the morning. He met up with the group. Kid jumped up to greet him but froze.
    “Oh my god!” he ran over to Syrus in a panic. “Wh-what happened?” at this the others turned to him.
    “Akseli isn’t responsible for that is he?” Skai asked solemnly.
    “Ah…no” Syrus uttered and rubbed his swollen cheek.
    “Then how?” Anya’s mouth turned down into a frown.
    “It was Murasa, wasn’t it?” Mini declared.
    “Yeah!” Jem followed suit.
    “It was not, just drop it!” Syrus barked.
    “B-but it’s my fault you keep getting hurt.” Kid pouted.
    “This has nothing to do with you, Sharpe.” Syrus retorted. “It has nothing to do with any of you.”
    “No need to be so rude.” Sal jeered from behind him. “They are just worried about you.”
    “I’m not being rude, it’s just a fact.” Syrus replied and turned to see Sal with Aren and Kelly.
    “WOAH!” Aren gasped.
    “Shut up!” Syrus snapped and ran off. “I don’t want to deal with this right now!” He rubbed his jaw while brooding.
    Eventually the students filled into their classrooms. Syrus cautiously entered the door. There was a heavy feeling of unease. “What’s going on?” As soon as he stepped in, he saw it. The empty seat where Arlin sat.
    “Where’s Arlin?” Syrus looked up to Alex.
    “Like I know? He’s not picking up his phone.” Alex sneered “Though it had something to do with you!” he chuckled.
    “I haven’t seen him since class ended yesterday.” Syrus barked back. “That much should be obvious to you.” He grit his teeth. Alex averted his gaze. Remorse. Class went on despite the tension. “Arlin isn’t the type to cut class like this.” Syrus sighed into his book. “Even Alex is bothered by this.” Lunch came and went. With Arlin, absent nothing of note happened. Skai approached Syrus in the hall.
    “Well this is unexpected.” He spoke in a low volume to not draw Kid’s attention. “I expected something big today.”
    “Disappointed?” Syrus asked sarcastically.
    “Honestly speaking,” Skai paused as he contemplated whether he should say it. “A little.”
    “Ha!” Syrus snorted to keep himself from laughing.
    “The sooner everything is resolved the better, but that can’t happen if he’s not here.” Skai sighed. “I know exactly what you are thinking and no, I don’t like fighting!”
    “Good, I was worried you were reverting back to your old ways on me for a moment.” Syrus teased Skai turned his face down flushed and adjusted his glasses. “I hope you know I was joking.” Syrus chuckled. Skai sneered back facetiously. The conversation came to a halt once Kid spotted them exchanging exasperated expressions and joined in.
    By the start of gym, the swelling had gone down some but Syrus opted out of participating. He lied down on a bench in the locker room as the rest of the guys entered the gym for class. Just when he thought he was alone, Syrus noticed someone standing over him.
    “What do you want, Alex?” he asked without opening his eyes. Alex huffed and rubbed the back of his neck.
    “My offer stills stands…if things get worse.” He uttered reluctantly.
    “I didn’t forget, how could I?” Syrus fought the urge to grin. “You’re too damn compassionate for your own good.”
    “D-don’t mistake my intentions!” Alex hissed. “This is for her, I still hate you!”
    “I know.” Syrus answered. “Thank you.”
    “I don’t need your thanks!” Alex scoffed, feeling flustered. Syrus couldn’t hold back a chuckle as Alex stomped out of the locker room. The faint murmur of class lulled Syrus to sleep.
    The bustle of them returning woke him from his nap as class ended. The day had been quite slow since everyone had left Syrus alone for the most part. As they were leaving for the day, Sal came up to Syrus.
    “Sorry about before.” Sal bowed. Syrus gasped. “I shouldn’t have assumed things."
    “Well I was a little rude…” Syrus turned his eyes away.
    “Doesn’t make it ok to pry.” Sal patter Syrus on the shoulder. “Take it easy dude.” As Syrus turned to face Sal, he noticed the rest of the gang was there. “How did I miss them?”
    “I can heal it for you.” Mira stepped forward.
    “Ah, that won’t be necessary.” Syrus took a step back.
    “I INSIST!” She shouted and lunged forward grabbing his face with both her hands.
    “Mmh!” he protested as she firmly gripped his jaw.
    “What good is this power if you all are too proud to let me use it!” she sneered and she let him go, fully healed. Syrus stared back blankly, unable to find a response.
    “We’re in this together, whether you like it or not!” Jem cheered.
    “You don’t have to tell us what happened but you gotta let us help.” Mini followed. Syrus awkwardly stood there without protesting.
    “You’ve been through a lot, don’t feel like you have to carry this burden alone.” Anya smiled to him.
    “Thanks.” Syrus replied timidly.
    “Oh, barf!” a cynical voice called out. “I think I’m gonna be sick!” Syrus turned to see Arlin, his face twisting in disgust.
    “Why weren’t you at school today?” he asked with uncertainty.
    “Ha! Don’t suddenly act like you care!” Arlin sneered.
    “I never stopped caring, Arlin.” Syrus dispiritedly sighed.
    “BULLSHIT!” Arlin shrieked and transformed in an explosive flame. “I’ve had enough of your lies!” he shot a dark bolt at the crowd. Sal fired an arrow to intercept the bolt. As the arrow flew it gave off an uncanny glow. In an instant, the two collided and burst into a bright flash of light.
    “That crap ain’t gonna work on me, lad.” Sal taunted as he threaded another arrow into his bow, his hands giving off a similar glow. The rest of them stared in awe.
    “WHAT?!” Arlin grew more enraged. As he began to gesture for his next spell, Sai lunged toward Arlin, trident in hand.
    “W-wait!” Syrus called out as she darted past him. “Don’t hu-“ He tried to plead before being interrupted by the loud crash of Arlin’s magic striking the ground. Sai pivoted on her heel to sidestep the attack and continued after him. Arlin stumbled back trying to distance himself out of the tridents reach. Once the debris cleared, Anya leapt through the air in pursuit of Arlin. Syrus watched frozen in place, unable to find the words to speak up. From behind him, Tori stood ready while keeping Aren under control. Mira cowered behind Skai and Sal. The twins joined the other girls, trying to out maneuver and corner Arlin. In his panic, Arlin began setting loose a large number of blasts as he attempted to defend himself from the girls after him. The twins charged at him. He tripped on his robe as he went to step back and fell. Kelly flinched as a black and red streak zoomed by her.
CLANG
    As Sai moved in with the shaft of her trident, Alex jumped in and held off her assault.
    “MURASA?!” everyone gasped.
    “Alex?” Arlin opened his eyes, bewildered. “Why?”
    “Do I need a reason to protect my friend?” he groaned as he pushed back against Sai. “Shouldn’t I be asking you that?” Arlin grimaced.
    “How could you still consider him your friend after what happened before?” Skai asked warily.
    “I’m not that fickle that I’d abandon someone over that!” Alex sneered in response. “Besides protecting someone also means protecting them from themself.” Arlin exhaled sharply. Syrus swallowed hard. He knew what he had to do but what was it so hard?
I had the idea to pick the best line of dialogue that describes each characters personalities. I thought it would be a fun exercise to help get me back into writing and give some insight into their personalities for the viewers. These aren't necessarily my favorite lines they've had. I might update this the further I get as some characters haven't had as much screen time as others.

Kid:  "If everyone could see how nice you are, I'm sure we could all be friends, like Kanamura san!" Chapter 24

Aren: "Don't worry, I can handle them! Just watch me!" Chapter 19

Tori: "You want some cookies?" Chapter 5

Jem: "You should forget about him and play with me!" Chapter 25

Mini: "Suck it, fatty!" Chapter 9

Syrus: "Hush, everyone here has things they'd rather not speak about, even you." Chapter 25

Ria: "You suck! Nyee!" Chapter 26

Mira: "My transformation isn't meant for combat, at least this way I can be of some use to everyone!" Chapter 25

Kelly: "Unlike the others I don't buy your 'tough guy' act one bit! There is more to you than meets the eye and I am going to figure it out!" Chapter 21

Skai: "No, you are a valuable asset and a friend." Chapter 9

Owen: "Surely there is an easier way to go about our day..." Chapter 26

Sal: "Sorry you can't be as lovable as us? Oh wait, no, I'm not!" Chapter 21

Pella: "Could you keep it down, I am trying to read." Chapter 17

Anya: "Let's try getting through today without any fights." Chapter 21

Sai: “Anyone with eyes can tell. Now go, sleep. You can’t keep pushing yourself like this.” Chapter 33

Carmen: "We really do have terrible taste in movies!" Chapter 11

Ed: "You look like an idiot, what is with that face?" Chapter 24

Ceres: "If you ever need anything at all, know that you can rely on me." Chapter 32

Shea: "I never had any 'intention' of following orders from a maniac with a god complex! I'm only in this for my brother!" Chapter 6

Akira: "Understood, Captain! I'll prove my worth." Chapter 19

Alex: "For my effort all I'm met with is hostility and insults. No matter how hard I try they all hate me." Chapter 13

Arlin: "FRIENDS!" Chapter 24

Teddy: "B-brother...I-I-I won't fight you..." Chapter 27

Zeka: "Someone as dull as you doesn't stand a chance against me!" Chapter 22

Reese: "Success is wrought from your own hard work not by riding the coattails of some false prophets." Chapter 8

Kye: "You always jump into things without much thought. Quit dragging others down." Chapter 26

Kaz: "I didn't tell you to stay out of it because I think you're weak or a burden, I was trying to protect you, DUMBASS!" Chapter 24

Master: "I have no problems with replacing 'faulty parts'!" Chapter 7

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Murashi-Art Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2018   Digital Artist
Thank you so much for the watch! 
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ChopChop-Hime Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018
Hey tell me about you and your story^^ please <3
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HapeeBizeeBeez Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Omg! UUUU!!! U watched me! Thank you so much, kind person. :icontearplz:
All because of you guys, I'm encouraged to do more art and it gives me the motivation to excel in each of my drawings! You are one special person. :iconowocuteplz:
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xXPetunia-I-Luv-UXx Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
THANK U SO MUCH FOR THE WATCHH!!! I really appreciate it dear, and I wish you a lovely, blessed, successful and happy New Years!!!!
Thanks again!! *hugs epically* Hehehe
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Glinel Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2016  Student Interface Designer
Thank you so much for the watch!
It's very much appreciated!

707 Mystic Messenger 9

Happy New Year!
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