[PR] Nico Mikage Picture

GENERAL INFORMATION—

"Nice to meetcha– I'm Nico! So you want to know more about me? Heh."
✦ NAME;; Nico Mikage.
✦ AGE;; 200+, unknown. (Appears to be young— small 14/15 year-old.)
✦ BIRTHDATE;; Unknown. (She arbitrarily decides it's her birthday when she feels like it.)
✦ GENDER;; Female.
✦ HEIGHT and WEIGHT;; 4'11" (152 cm; 155 cm counting ears and ahoge), 97 lbs (44 kg, counting tails).
✦ SPECIES;; Aemis.
✦ SUBSPECIES;; Polycaudal cat. (Note: paulycaudalism is a genetic condition resulting in two tails. She has V polycaudalism, resulting in "two tails" split at the sacrum.)
✦ ORIENTATION;; N/A, looks underaged.

MAGIC—

"My magic? Let's just say it's complicated!"
✦ RANKING;; Bronze.
✦ MAGIC;; Combination Magic— Fire and Water; creates Mist magic.

STATS—

"Hm~ really digging deep now! What're you trying to do, spy on me to beat me later?"
✦ BASE STATS;; 16
✦ INT;; 8
✦ VIT;; 1
✦ SPD;; 5
✦ STR;; 1
✦ LCK;; 1
✦ DEF;; 0
✦ STAT ANAYLSIS;; Clearly, Nico is no tank; with low defense and HP, she can easily be knocked out. Rather, Nico uses more of a hit-and-run tactic, relying heavily on her passive, high speed, and intelligence. She may also fight with a set of daggers, taking advantage of her speed. She is rather agile and chooses to dodge most attacks as she spends her time accumulating stat buffs; after all, she knows she's a bit of an unlucky black cat when it comes to her aim and luck. As much as she loves victory, Nico isn't afraid to flee from battles, given her natural gifts in disguise and speed. Granted, she usually returns and exacts revenge later— running is not surrender. She also only views battles she picks as real battles. Encounters with the law never faze her; after all, she can escape with scarcely a trace.

PASSIVE MAGIC—

✦ 影の魅力 – Shadow Charm
• the user becomes almost invisible when in poorly lighted or dark areas. It is not that the user's body physically becomes transparent or camouflages with the dark; rather, it is a subtle magical mind game that may allow for onlookers to completely overlook the user. It becomes easy to spot the user when onlookers become aware of her presence, such as if the user makes a loud noise or if the onlooker is actively searching for the user specifically. It is easier for the user to be detected by those who know the user very well or are aware of the passive magic.
• Nico, being the sly cat she is, knows exactly how her passive works– and how to pull it off to her advantage. As she is not exactly the epitome of moral rectitude, she especially likes to use it to steal (er, borrow).

ACTIVE SPELLS—

✦ おにび – Will-o'-the-Wisp
• fire magic | offensive
• The user gathers spectral flames in her hands. These flames can be shot at a target. The power varies based on the user's mental state and determination. When it gains enough power, it forms a halo before encasing the entire hand. The fire formed from this spell is usually violet. However, it varies with emotions— when the user is experiencing an intensely positive emotion, it becomes green, whereas if the user is experiencing an intensely negative emotion, it becomes blue.
• LIMITATIONS;;
• This spell's power is directly proportional to the mental stability and determination of the user. In other words, if the user does not believe in victory or want to achieve a certain goal, it will have little to no power. It is best suited to those who grow more persistent in moments of desperation and can be used as a last-ditch effort.
• The longer the user keeps the fire in her hands, the more powerful the fire is.
• This spell, if powerful enough, can burn the hands of the user if held onto for too long. It must be fired quickly after it is formed.
• FLAWS;;
• The spell is shot like a projectile and can therefore be dodged.
• There is no recharge period, but the spell is tiring to use and can result in burns or passing out when overused.
• Nico is the sort of ideal user that this spell requires: a persistent little Aemis that is filled to the brim with resilience. Sure, she may seem like a slacker at times, but she hates losing and isn't afraid of burning her hands. Naturally, she uses this spell with abandon– too bad that her aim may not be the best.

✦ ミズチ – Mizuchi (Water Dragon)
• water magic | defensive
• The user forms a protective, clear water dragon from the moisture in the air. The water dragon can protect from projectiles and physical spells targeted towards the user, but it cannot attack.
• LIMITATIONS;;
• The dragon is made from the moisture in the air, so the more humid the air is, the bigger the dragon is. Because the dragon is made of just water, it cannot attack effectively— it would just break apart and splash into water.
• The higher the user's HP and level, the more obedient the water dragon is. It may not obey at all at very low HP. The bigger the dragon is, the less obedient it will be, and it may not obey the user, instead becoming a waste of magic and concentration. If perfectly obedient, it will not miss a single projectile, but it grows rowdier and harder to control as the user weakens, requiring much more concentration. At lowest obedience, it will "purposefully" miss projectiles and spells.
• The dragon cannot be more than 15 feet away from the user, or it will disperse. It can be lured away from the user.
• FLAWS;;
• The dragon swallows or engulfs all projectiles or physical spells coming at it. Thus, it can only catch projectiles and "bullets" produced by offensive spells that it can fit inside and suspend in its water. (It cannot, for example, swallow a wall of fire or a healing spell.) It can be broken with projectiles or spells that are too strong. This strength is the same as 1/3 of the user's total HP. When broken, it does not reform on its own, instead dispersing into a puddle on the ground. Thus the spell takes moisture from the air, letting each successive water dragon made in a short span of time become smaller.
• The spell must be done intermittently, requiring a recharge period of a minimum of 5-10 minutes (1-2 turns). However, because it requires a lot of magic and concentration to summon the dragon (and it is better to allow more water to evaporate before forming a dragon), it is best to use the spell every twenty to thirty minutes (4-6 turns).
• The dragon can disperse if the user wishes it to. It can also disperse if the user experiences a jarring shock (like extreme pain).
• To put it nicely, Nico and her Mizuchi do not get along. At bronze level, the spell often requires too much concentration for her, so she dislikes it (and frankly, the dragon also dislikes her and is a bit of a– shall we say, rebel). Worse, the dragon is essentially artificial intelligence, so she cannot outsmart or manipulate it. She needs much more training to completely master this spell.

✦ 天魔 – Incubus
• mist magic | buff/offensive
• The user evaporates their own exposed blood to form an offensive mist that moves slowly at the user's will. The mist stings any opponents within it. If the mist is able to hurt any opponents, the user receives a temporary stat buff of a minimum of +2 strength stats and +1 luck stat at the expense of lowering the defense stat to 0. It takes 1/5 of the user's HP to perform this spell, whereas it doesn't really hurt the opponents.
• LIMITATIONS;;
• The more exposed blood the user has, the more mist is formed. This usually entails that the user is extremely weakened and bleeding at the time of this spell's use. The spell does not work when there is no exposed blood or all the blood is clotted— blood from self-inflicted injuries can be evaporated just as blood from opponent-inflicted injuries.
• The lower the user's HP, the higher the stat buffs are to strength and luck. However, if the user has 1/5 or under of their HP left, they can easily be knocked out by merely performing the spell.
• The more opponents are caught in the mist, the bigger the stat buff. (More specifically, +1 strength stat for every 3 additional opponents and +1 luck stat for every 5 additional opponents.) The stat buff lasts for a long time, roughly 7-8 turns.
• The spell can hurt the user if she is not careful, as it takes away health from anyone caught within it after the blood is fully evaporated. It does not take away very much health, instead merely causing a slight stinging sensation (so it is not effective as a purely offensive tactic, especially because opponents can easily exit the mist if the mist is small), but the damage done is proportional to time caught in the mist. If the user purposefully injured herself in the mist, she still receives the stat buff.
• FLAWS;;
• It can go as far away to pursue the opponent as the user wishes. However, although the mist can form almost instantaneously, it is very slow in pursuit, instead being best when cornering an opponent. The mist disappears after having no opponents within it for 10 minutes (2 turns). It is easily outrun or escaped.
• The spell has no recharge period, but it can obviously wear the user down if performed in quick succession. It is also very painful to perform the spell, causing a searing pain (on top of the existing pain from open wounds) when blood is evaporated. Even if the user's HP is not entirely drained, she can still easily pass out from blood loss or exhaustion.
• Lucky for Nico, her defense stat is currently already 0, so she receives a handy buff with few strings attached for each usage. Being the mild masochist she is, she loves this spell to death and the pain outweighs the pleasure she gets from boosting her limited attacking strength. She is the type of user who would not hesitate to cut herself and stand in her own mist just for the buffs. However, at full health and bronze level, she can perform this spell a maximum of 2 times before she is too exhausted to perform it again, and she usually passes out shortly after using it for the 2nd time.

PERSONALITY—

"Even more complicated than my magic. Nosy, aren't we?"
✦ POSITIVE;;
✧ adventurous, upbeat, persistent, playful | ✧ cunning, vigilant | ✧ thoughtful
✦ NEGATIVE;;
✧ lazy, teasing, proud, immoral | ✧ apathetic, vindictive, manipulative | ✧ lonely
✦ THE ANTIHERO.
At first glance, Nico is surprisingly cat-like. She's quite a tomboyish, coy little Aemis: she's quite a teasing presence, a trickster that will consistently bother others with mocking remarks and her self-satisfied, oft-triumphant smirk. Indeed, the prankster will often go after many, pranking them or teasing them, often "flirting" with anyone in a deeply sardonic manner (honestly, she couldn't be less interested in romance). Granted, she usually teases those closest to her most, but she usually doesn't make exceptions when it comes to pranks. She acts almost childish, always messing around and seemingly never taking anything to heart. She's almost too flaky, too uninvolved— to the casual observer, Nico seems to take absolutely nothing seriously. This could be interpreted as quite an upbeat, carefree nature; Nico seems to never be truly sad. She can have a bit of a mercurial temper, sure, but she is often in a smugly self-contented, pleased little cloud. She's not happy-go-lucky, given the somewhat lengthy amount of time it takes for her to trust others and make friends (fun fact: she warms up to males faster than females, and she also seems to have all sorts of prior, stubbornly unbudging prejudices that prevent her from making friends.) However, she can be a rewarding time investment with her playful warmth and unbridled energy within. Sure, she's not helpful or generous, but she does have a certain heroic aura about her as well. She's, surprisingly, often quite lazy, usually napping snugly on a sunlit window ledge and not paying attention in class. In fact, she remains uninterested and bored in many academic endeavors, making her seem almost spacy. It's not that she's unmotivated or tired, given the sheer amount of energy she has bottled inside; she is, in fact, just unwilling to do things that she deems not worth her time, and she often gets distracted by the many thoughts and ideas buzzing in her head. This, coupled with her borderline-rash bravery and adventurousness and of course her undying curiosity, makes her quite the troublemaker. Naturally, though, despite her delinquency, she's an intelligent one, shockingly intelligent despite the seemingly minimal effort she puts into most things. And, to top it off, she's stubborn. Call it persistent, call it pigheaded— whatever it is, Nico is one to never give up. She's not stupid (although she does act it at times), so she does know when to flee when she must, but it is never with a spirit of wholehearted defeat or giving up. Of course, she's quite proud of herself, and she has quite the inflated ego. Nico undoubtedly thinks that she's among the best and smartest; all others are, in her eyes, foolish peasants that could easily be ignored. Nico's hubris is quite something, present in her always slightly-smug, slightly-boasting tone. Her behaviors scream of her pride, particularly how she claims that she is a panther Aemis— never dare to call her a cat— that has felled two whole nations with her "sheer badassery". It's quite difficult to gain her respect due to her high-and-mighty attitude, but Nico is no sore loser and usually accepts others when they have proven their worth (usually by wowing her in battle). On the flip side, Nico can sometimes become quite jealous of those better than her and gain quick prejudices through even the slightest mishaps— her temper is as quick as her wits! She can be quite petty if angered. She (hypocritically) hates to be condescended upon, no matter how much better than her the offender is. She also hates to be called small, short, or worst of all, a kitten; those words are absolutely ego-deflating and pride-crushing, and Nico absolutely cannot forgive that! Just as she is proud, she functions on her own moral system. She isn't exactly immoral, per se; rather, Nico has her own sense of right and wrong. After all, why would it matter to ants if Nico stole a piece of taiyaki? She's not a kleptomaniac, but she just... doesn't care. And so Nico lives on, a self-satisfied but playful soul, a bundle of contradictions, a lovable, lazy antihero.
Or so she seems.
What if it were all a facade?
What if, just maybe, Nico is playing puppetmaster? She likes to think that it's all a ploy, for beneath her smirk is complete blankness. Apathy. Underneath the playful feline is a vindictive, cold, uncaring, twisted, manipulative, faceless monster. That's what she always was, after all: a two-tailed cat, so much like the mythological demon bakeneko. A monster cat. She's a completely unforgiving, quickly judging, fiercely cunning beast, one that never moves on from the past, one without mercy. A ruthless, seemingly emotionless being that functions only on vengeance, believing only in the corruption and evil of the world around her, living off of her own mangled sense of justice. A fake Aemis keeping tabs on everyone and everything, knowing all there is to know, feeding all "relationships" and "emotions" into her own endless megalomania. Peel her bravado away, make her truly snap, and inside there is just darkness, an endless hunger to avenge herself, take revenge on the world that wronged her so much.
And, in truth, her exterior not real— exactly. She likes to think that it's all a facade, but sometimes one layer of personality blurs into the next, blending into reality. But, then again, her own apathy, her own "evil" isn't real either. Who's to say that she is all black, garbed in all white? Why can she never feel happiness? Why is the world just seemingly unrelentingly cruel and nothing else? It's not, and she knows, somewhere deep down, that she's nothing but an ugly mixed grey color, neither purely good and fun nor uncompromisingly harsh.
And cracking her is like cracking open a multifaceted piece of glass. Every dimension of her personality, however seemingly contradicting to another aspect, is attached to another, and the entire shard of glass is held together by unwavering pride.
But—
Once the pride is smashed, there is still a something, a round and sad little core.
And, far far inside of her, beneath layers and layers of crystal and sharp edges, is something small. Something pitiful. Something... lonely. A thoughtful, sorrowful soul, one endlessly asking why. One that wants to stop breaking and chipping away. One that wants the world to be just a little better, one that no longer wants to be invisible, one that just wants some love and attention. One so shrunken after years of hiding under the delicately entangled mesh of Nico's superiority-inferiority complex, but one undoubtedly present nonetheless.
And, rarely, in a truly genuine moment, it can shine through our fragile glass antihero.

HISTORY—

"Long story. You sure you got time for this?"
✦ IT started with a shadowy figure in an alleyway.
Perhaps that isn't the best start to this story– but then again, it is usually not the best start to any story.
Maybe it was autumn, maybe it was winter, maybe it was the trembling first days of spring; either way, it didn't matter. Nobody saw and nobody knew. In fact, nobody cared when the figure set down a tiny bundle swaddled in midnight-hued cloth. It was, after all, so long ago that there was no point in remembering. The vastness of time had diminished the value of this moment, the nearly-inaudible jingling of a bell and whimpering of a child, to inconsequentiality. Only one thing mattered, and only one thing she remembered.
It was cold.
After that, memories of childhood faded away in Nico's mind. At least fifty, maybe a hundred years had passed, a large part of it spent in cold and dark. It was damp. It was hard. It was cold.
Her next memory was that of her, bundled up in her large black sweatshirt, sitting on cement dampened with winter solitude. She was curled up against the wall and strands of onyx hair fell into her eyes, and she stared intently at the bell. She had always had a bell with her; as far as she could remember, since her own abandonment, she had worn a bell on a ribbon, tied around one of her two tails. It was peculiar. She thought, sincerely, it was magic. She had defined the bell, with its unfathomable characters carved on the edge, as the source of her being different. It was not her big, fuzzy ears or two long, fluffy tails that set her apart from the countless human children that walked past. It was her lack of a big human, her lack of a parent to grasp her hand and usher her away from the shadowy alleyway. In her childish mind, that was the reason for her invisibility; that was why no children or mommies or daddies could see her. Her bell was her only ghost of a parent, and only when it rang like a chiding adult did adults snap their heads around, searching fruitlessly for the source of the sound. That was the only attention she ever got. She sat, her tiny hands rubbing her bell insistently as if waiting for answers to appear from the roughly engraved characters. All she knew was that her name was Nico: knee-ko. She knew by logic that she had to have parents, somewhere, but she couldn't figure out no matter how hard she thought about it where these parents were or what– and who– she was. She snuggled back into her sweatshirt for warmth, exhaling misty silver into the air. And thus Nico grew up as a stray cat.
Her next memories were a blur: most of it was accompanied by a hollow pang in her chest. She remembered the school with its window facing the alleyway. The window was huge, always emanating soft golden light, and she would press her palm against the glass and stare inside and listen longingly, grasping tightly onto every muffled word uttered inside. And so she began learning, and learning at a rapidly fast pace. She watched as the children changed year to year, ignorant to her existence, even though her wide-eyed reflection never did. Soon, she picked up how to read and write from afar, and she'd breathe on the glass until beads of water formed. There, she'd write with a single tiny finger: hello. H-E-L-L-O. My name is N-I-C-O. Nobody ever responded like they did in the books: "hello, my name is so-and-so, how are you, Nico?" But she grew to accept the silence, to learn from the world on the other side of the window. She also noticed that the world seemed to age two steps ahead of her. Years of children flew by in the classroom, but she never changed; the street weathered, the passerby wrinkled, generations renewed, but she didn't age. Was she forever a child? She only grew slowly, so slowly that she could barely perceive it at all. She was, seemingly, forever a child in an alleyway, filling her head up with knowledge and haplessly stringing together reality with desperate logic.
She accommodated to her own living conditions, stealing from street vendors whenever she had to– but only when she found it absolutely necessary. She pilfered a loaf of bread here, a slice of fish there, scrape of cloth to patch her sweatshirt, wandering the street until her bare feet got sore. And books! Oh how she wanted to steal all the books, the noble-looking tomes resting like royalty upon dusted shelves. She only ever took one, returning it soon afterwards; some higher moral fiber within her soul dictated that stealing was wrong, that her parents, wherever they were, would chastise her if they had known that she were nothing but a thieving feline. So she lived on, always a little hungry, always thinking herself a criminal but truly being invisible. Perhaps by thinking that she was sinning, that she was caught sinning, she was defining herself. Perhaps her sin granted herself a make-believe identity, an untrue conviction that some robbed vendor would have her face engraved in his mind as some ragged delinquent. But they never saw her, as much as she wanted someone, anyone, to cast her a glance, to wonder why apples and fish would go missing.
Soon afterwards was the first time she got injured. It was the first time that Nico had felt pain– pain beyond the hollow screaming in her stomach or a numb, cold aching in her spine. Real pain, pain that was only inflicted by another being. She had seen a pair of rain boots. They were pretty red galoshes with delicate white polka dots that reminded her of snowflakes. It was pouring, and she had seen so many little girls walk past with their own pairs of snug rain boots; why was it that she had to stand barefoot? She could feel the rivulets of water in the uneven edges riddling the cobblestone alley she called home. She could feel the sky's cold, solemn tears streaming down her face as if they were her own. And then she saw them: the two red rain boots standing in a brightly lit store window. She didn't remember what happened, only that it happened– somebody caught notice of her at last. And she would never forget. She would never forget it, not the shot of joy that pierced her when the shopkeeper made eye contact with her, not the sudden fear when he stormed towards her, not the bang of metal on skin and the feeling of something warm and wet trickling down her face, diluted by the cold rain and something flowing and salty, as she ran back, clutching her rain boots.
The lesson carved itself into her mind: it was a cold world. If noticed, she would surely be killed next time. It was probably best to continue on like she did, an innocent neutral, trying to escape her real dark ignorance with others' knowledge as she withered away in oblivion.
And it was very likely that she would have lived on that way for centuries, invisible until her death, stealing food and devouring knowledge, precariously leaning on the precipice of insanity, if not for a carriage.
It was a beautiful mahogany carriage, drawn by beautiful mahogany horses. In it rode a beautiful lady with beautiful mahogany hair and a beautiful, condescending, haughty smile. Nico had been watching the road from afar, watching a charcoal-hued kitten amble cautiously across— and then there was a sickening crunch, a splatter of red, a bump in the otherwise-smooth carriage ride.
Holding the limp, bloodied, fluffy body in her hands, she broke.
Something inside of her snapped as she cradled the mangled corpse of the kitten, as she watched the carriage continue off without a hint of stopping.
And, in her rust-stained faded rain boots, Nico decided that she would find that woman. Nico decided once and for all that the world was a cruel, uncaring place, a place that would mow over kittens and lonely children without a second glance. There was no fairness. There were no morals. She would be her own justice.
That night, she cut off her hair. Wearing her hoodie over her ears and tails, she sold it all to the wigmaker in exchange for money– and information, hearing a conversation at long last. As she searched the streets that night for 10 Palace Lane, she fingered the heavy gold pieces in her hand. It was the first time she had ever held money, real money.
The mansion's door was locked, but some careless, work-worn servant had surely left the window open; she scaled a tree, inching her way into the house, not knowing what to do. The gold clinked in her pocket and she slowly clenched and unclenched her hands, feeling something seething within her.
The bedroom was elaborate, draped with silk and framed with rich brown wood. A mirror was pushed up in the corner— and a figure sat, alarmed, on a gilded canopy bed.
"Who are you?"
Nico never heard her own voice as loudly and clearly as she did on that day.
"Just an average citizen."
And then there was fire, purple fire, consuming all of the polished mahogany, forming hell-bound halos around her hands, filling up the mansion with the screams of tortured souls.
She laughed.
She ran out, a smile still on her face as she watched the mansion go up in rapid flames, purple-blue curling into pumpkin orange as fire met the starry pool above. She smiled through the pain of burns on her raw, reddened palms, forcefully pushing them into a nearby pond, disturbing the uncertain heaven on its surface.
She didn't know how it had happened, how the flames had shot from her hands in her rage, but it had happened. And now, she had to kiss goodbye to all she knew— granted, merely an alleyway. Surely the law enforcers would have come after her soon.
She shouldered her bag, a small cloth satchel tied messily with a knot, turned her back to the burning mansion, and ran. Her feet, snug in their now-tight-faded-rust-stained-galoshes, thudded on the firm earth as she felt the air and dawnbreak sunlight slide across her cheeks. Her hood flew off her ears with the speed.
And she froze.
There was a bark, then another, then a chorus of angry howls.
Yellow eyes peered out from the dark.
Nico stood death-still, hoping to go invisible— why wasn't she invisible now?!— where was her fire?!
Growls.
The two hounds pounced, charging after her. She ran. One dog managed to sink its teeth into one of her tails; a ragged breath escaped from her mouth; she choked, daring not to scream or disturb anyone in the wee morning hours; she kept running.
The dogs stopped their pursuit after a street or so, but she couldn't stop. She kept sprinting until she reached the forest at the edge of the town— she kept running even though there was no one chasing her. Paranoia filled her life as she flew from town to town, alleyway to alleyway, forest to forest. Were the authorities not going to come after her? Every town she would take a little souvenir, a sign that she had been there and escaped— gold, patches, and food, usually, but occasionally spellbooks.
The nomadic lifestyle eventually grew stifling. Although she was living in complete freedom, Nico was essentially lost. She no longer had any grasp of where she was, how far she'd traveled, how long she had been traveling; her initial goal of fleeing was long blurred out of focus; her journey became defined by sparse run-ins with hostile creatures of darkness and canines rather than forgettable, bland town names— and, most jarringly, she was alone again. Just her and her broken self.
She didn't know how long she had been traveling when it happened, when she finally stopped. She had been wondering about life, hoping that she wouldn't end up back where she started again, an invisible stray. That was when she saw the distant silhouette of a werewolf, outlined by the round harvest moon, crouched in pain atop a hill. And, suddenly, she knew she had to run. Fear pulsed through her— she had been attacked by many a ruthless werewolf— as she scrambled down the tree she had been sleeping in. She vaguely recalled some other nameless, faceless village nearby. For some odd reason, despite her hatred of general society, she propelled herself closer and closer still towards the warm, distant glow of fires and candles, praying that she wouldn't end up an unlucky black cat once again.
She knocked on the door of the closest house, tugging her raggedy hood over her short hair as a sort of afterthought. Nobody came. Mustering up some more energy, she knocked harder, a persistent rat-a-tat-tat— and, to her surprise, the door cracked open slightly and the face of a kindly woman peered out. Suspicion hung heavy on the woman's worry-wrinkled brow, but Nico was just overcome with shock in the autumn-bronze lantern light: she could see her. The woman wasn't looking through her, not past her. She could see her for her.
"Oh, Mother! I don't think he's a demon!" A child's voice rang out as the door flew open. A small boy peered up at Nico with a pleased grin, holding a bright and sticky-looking candle in his tiny hands. It took a moment for Nico to register that the "he" was she herself. Did she really look like a little boy? She nearly scowled, but she restrained herself.
"I-I..." Her voice had been so raw in her throat. "I'm sorry for bothering you, but I'm just looking for a place to stay— and there's a werewolf and I just— I'm just a lost Aemis and—"
"Oh boy! An Aemis?? A real live Aemis? Wow! Can we keep him?" the boy squealed in delight, tugging at his mother's skirt. Nico bit back a burst of irritated fire.
The woman sighed slightly, but she motioned for Nico to come in. "Ah. I suppose he can stay for the night, then. Or just a short while. I know that there've been a lot of creatures of darkness wandering about lately, and—" she lowered her voice to whisper to the boy, but Nico ended up hearing the words anyway— "I'd hate to anger an Aemis."
"Oh boy, oh boy oh boy oh boy!" the boy cried, springing up. Nico shared the boy's delight; she would at last have a temporary shelter. The boy beamed up at her. "I wanna be a super awesome magician one day, so you gotta teach me, Mister Aemis!"
And so she settled in (for significantly more than a night) in the woman's house in the sleepy little village town called Harthwood. She grew to be quite protective of the little boy (and eventually managed to inform him that she was not a very short "Mister"), helping him along so he could learn spells with her. They would chat about idle things like butterflies and children's games and dreams, and he showed her all of his spellbooks and a flyer for some grand magic school called St. Whatsitsface that she didn't think too much about. The other villagers would always whisper "demon" with her around, glaring at her two black tails, but she tried not to notice. It was like a dream to have a place to call home— temporary or not— and a warm fireplace to curl up besides, a cozy bed to collapse on at night, a little brother to cause mischief with. But she still noticed that the boy's mother (his father had been traveling for a long time) was becoming ostracized from the community for housing Nico.
And so, one day, she told them that she'd be going. It was getting cold again— she didn't know how long she'd stayed with them— and food was running scarce. She couldn't just sit there and leech away resources, destroying a kind woman's reputation while she was at it. The boy gave her a letter, telling her to open it whenever she needed reassuring words. She didn't have a parting gift, so instead she let him hug her for a while (despite her grudge against touchy-feely children). And so Nico was off traveling again, carrying the letter with her in her pocket.
She now wandered from village to village, ambling along in search of rich idiots to pickpocket and snacks to snatch, unsure where exactly she was to go. Wild thoughts would cross her head as she fingered the scars on her palms, pondering the slow-motion world around her. She sometimes fingered her letter, wondering if she ought to open it— what were the odds that she'd meet her little friend, her basically-brother again? surely he'd wither and perish before she even noticed, and she just wanted some form of company one last time— and sometimes she thought about those faraway, fantastical magic schools that the boy would talk about with such bright eyes. It sounded like a fairytale, one with a protagonist wielding a blade and wearing shining armor and a blazing heart, one with the happily-ever-afters she had longed for in the alleyways of her childhood. She knew that she was too far gone to ever be a white-armored hero or even remotely close, too tainted to bother hoping for a miracle. If the world were a black and white fairytale, she knew that she'd probably end up the villain, after all.
She was a black cat.
An unlucky, two-tailed, monster black cat.
She was wandering the shadowed alleyways of a quaint, cobblestone-paved town— oh, how familiar!— when she heard about it: the fair.
Some people were talking about how it would pass by soon, and how exciting it'd be to take their children to see the traveling tents and eat some goodies. She had been eating a scrap of stale bread when she heard the gossip. Nico's interest was instantly piqued: lots of rich idiots to pickpocket! And then the conversation continued as she stood nearby. It was dark enough that she wouldn't be seen.
"But I hear that there's something sinister about it."
"The fair? The same fair, the Toil and Troubles Faire?"
"The same exact fair!"
"Really now? Oh, dear."
"Yes! The last time it passed by a nearby town— oh, you know, the little farming one? What was it?"
"Harthwood?"
Nico froze.
"Ah, yes! Harthwood! I hear that right after it passed, the entire village was burned to the ground!"
She could feel her fingers tightening around the letter in her pocket.
"Really? Oh my goodness gracious. That must just be a fluke, right? Harthwood's always been unlucky, plagued with awful harvests and all those nasty dark demons and werewolves."
"I sure hope so. But who knows? Hopefully it won't happen to us..."
The conversation trailed off into the distance. Nico was struggling to breathe, almost as if something had sent a heavy blow to her gut. And, suddenly, she saw something wet drip from her cheek to the bumpy, cold road. It was as if she was back on that rainy day from eons ago, watching the chestnut carriage roll by. And then... hatred. Endless, burning, unquenchable hatred.
She had to find the fair. She had to go, she had to find whatever had caused her home to burn to the ground, she had to destroy it. She had to... she had to...
She closed her eyes and saw the burnt corpse of her little friend. The mangled corpse of a charcoal kitten.
And she didn't hesitate. She would go and find the fair, wherever it had set up shop, and she would find whoever had burned her home.
Little did she know that exactly a year later, still embroiled in her hatred and sorrow, Nico would find that very same fair camped out by a railroad, next to a very peculiar train with a very peculiar, very familiar name.

LIKES and DISLIKES—

"Thanks for cutting me some slack with this one. So just a list works?"
✦ LIKES;;
• victory
• fish, especially fancy tuna (and taiyaki)
• warm, sunlit window ledges
• yarn, loose string
• praise
• love and attention (secretly)
• tummy rubs, being pet between the ears (only from those she trusts)
• pranking people and watching their reactions
• riddles, logic puzzles, insane math problems, cryptology
• reading old spellbooks, decoding ancient languages and codes
• manipulating people, taking revenge, playing mind games
• small plants (especially in terrariums)
• generally smol cute things, especially kittens (also secretly)
• hiding in the dark and stealing
• video games (but she doesn't want others to find her stash)
• milk, heavy cream
• big cardboard boxes
✦ DISLIKES;;
• "girly" or "uber-feminine" things, like pink or dresses
• being called small, weak, short, a kid, or a kitten/cat
• being mistaken for a prepubescent boy (happens a lot, actually)
• talking about her past/family
• nosy people
• canines, werewolves, chihuahuas
• being invisible
• off-key singing, really high-pitched noises (like a tea kettle whistling)
• physical effort
• being condescended upon
• catmint (it's not funny)
• defeat
• getting lost or confused
• heavy rain, getting muddy
• waking up in general
• ignorance, ignorant people
• people petting her tails/ears, physical contact without consent
• horse-drawn carriages, the snotty/filthy rich
• cat videos, cat memes (they're demeaning)
• small cardboard boxes she can't fit in

TRIVIA—

"Rapid-fire Q&A! My favorite part. Time to find out all my weird details."
✦ FAVORITE COLOR;; Indigo.
✦ HOBBIES;; Manipulation, deceit, pranking, trolling... just (half-)kidding. Reading, napping in the sun, toying with people and sparkly objects, talking with her bros friends, tricking people, gardening smol houseplants, playing video games.
✦ PASSIONS;; Justice, victory, revenge, learning (begrudgingly– don't call her a nerd, though).
✦ VOICE;; [Konata Izumi], voiced by Aya Hirano. Note-- a bit lower.
✦ WESTERN ZODIAC;; Unknown, but she's a self-proclaimed Leo.
✦ CHINESE ZODIAC;; Dragon.
✦ ITEMS IN HER BAG;;
• a wallet with a spare piece of gold
• a wrinkled note in an unopened envelope
• knives: two throwing stars; a large, sheathed machete; and a set of tiny daggers
• a heavy book and fountain pen
• a piece of old, frayed yarn tied around some yellow and orange cloth, a spool, and a threaded needle
• stale taiyaki from who-knows-when
• two small, faded red rain boots
✦ QUIRKS;;
• she has excellent night vision
• her tails are surprisingly heavy and muscular– not only do they help Nico balance, but they also can lash out as weapons to deliver heavy smacks
• whenever she sees a chihuahua, she is overcome with disgust and feels an urge to either run away or step on the pitiful thing
• she is easily surprised by cucumbers
• she may be good at landing on her feet, but she always tends to underestimate distances when making leaps (partially due to her mediocre daytime vision)
• she often has her hands in fists to conceal the scars on her palms; when fighting, she holds daggers by the hilts in between her fingers to use as "claws"
• she is jealous of Aemis that have big cat features (leopards, lions, tigers, etc.) because she knows deep down that she's not actually a panther
• she will sometimes use honorifics after names (-chan, -kun, etc.), but usually only mockingly
• she is allergic to bananas and therefore despises them
• she has a fear of being run over by a horse-drawn carriage (but not trains or cars)
• she will beat you at every shooting game and strategy MMORPG there ever was
• she is the one responsible for (purposefully?) unraveling your sweater after playing with the loose string too much
• she steals big cardboard boxes and sleeps in them; she has a stash in the closet
• she doesn't let anyone touch her bell
• when panicked, her ahoge sticks straight up and her hair and fur puff up
• she knows that she is not a bakeneko, but she does believe that she is some sort of monster cursed with a black cat or bakeneko's bad luck

RP METHODS—


✦ LIT | ✦ CHATROOMS | ✦ GOOGLE DOCS | ✦ NOTES
I prefer Google Docs!




Oh my goodness really last-minute app but!! Let's hope for the best!! ;w; *shot for being a perfectionist and spending too long on this*
//crosses fingers b/c I'm in love with this group
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