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"The star that fell from the sky was you all along"

-unknownΒ 

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  • Good hands. A crooked grin formed on that face, and yet she didn’t even look up at him, as if she was admiring her handiwork, concentrating on what she was doing. β€œThat depends.” It was a serene whisper that came out as a response. Scarlet already pooled out into her palm– this should suffice and last her through the night. β€œIf you’ll behave, I might even consider that.”

    Β 

    The farther away the path took them, the darker everything became. Lamp posts were becoming more sparse, the derelict buildings that surrounded them now were far from the glorious district that most photographs of this city had always promised. But at least the weather wasn’t such a pain anymore, which was quite a pleasant surprise for an area that was so ominous. That seemed to do wonders to shift the woman’s mood somehow, only for it to gradually dampen once more when they finally approached their destination. They were both picking up on the same trail – whether it was the aura or that tenebrous miasma it left behind on anything it ever touched, Ryusei has been proving his tracking skills to Cassella who was rather impressed by the pinpoint accuracy. But of course, she wouldn’t say that out loud. Stroking this man’s ego was not something she’s too keen on doing.

    Leading up to the steps of the abandoned institution, her eyes narrowed, followed by a hard swallow. Enclosed spaces of this caliber have always whispered headache whenever she was dealing with the otherworldly. Crumbly walls, unkempt floors, foundations that could give in with any force, and the shadows that lurked on every possible turn, each damned spot was a complete disadvantage for someone who typically used the space and light to fight. She almost wanted to oppose going right in, wanting to insist for them to just slowly lure it outside. And yet the moment he looked back, Cassella only grinned at him, both thumbs up, one hand stained in crimson.

    Her eyes were not smiling at all, eyeing at the growing aperture as she held her breath. No matter. She finally stepped in to follow. Her expectations didn’t fail her, it was even worse inside. It wasn’t just the stench of the blighted surroundings or the unseen eyes that seemed to peer back from everywhere, it was… everything. Perhaps the ambiance alone can’t be compared to what she has been dealing with recently, but it remained sickening… begging to be purged.

    β€œOi, dinner is ready~” Her downy voice was half a song, directed to what they were hounding after, her breath clouding out in soft puffs at each uttered word. She knew she was being heard. A hand was held out against the door, leaving a smear of blood upon the dingy frame. It almost seemed intentional, with her leaving her mark behind. β€œIt’s bad luck to turn down a blessing like me~” To his suggestion, she wouldn’t put up an argument, she had no intention of getting separated in a place like this, only for her footsteps to halt completely at the sudden interruption.

    That pristine laughter cutting through already had her on guard, and Cassella was now bristling, her blood running cold. Children, in a place like this, were always bad news. Any pair of seasoned eyes will agree to that, and she finally swept her gaze about, finding home into the sight of this child. So regal… so misplaced, innocent enough to send a chill down her spine.

    The bizarre resemblance that this boy has to this man right beside her was rather uncanny, but as a cautious glance was taken to question him, the look on Ryusei’s face already said it all. Her first instinct was to carefully move forward to vigilantly place herself in between the two. To a well-traveled head, each chirping word registered so fluently without fail, until she was blindsided by something else – 

    Yagiza-sama.

    Capricorn?

    Even before she can open her mouth to echo that, or even make proper sense of what was going on, the man already sprung forward to the shadows, completely leaving her. β€œRyu– Ryu!? What the actual fuck–” The young woman bolted after him, at least he wasn't so far away.Β So much for sticking together.Β Is he going to leave her there at some point if that happens again? With each hasty step taken, her entire form seemed to blink.

    She reached out, finally grabbing him by the hand. Whether that was shaken away or allowed– it wouldn’t matter, that grip of hers was firm yet gentle, without any intention of letting go. Her touch was rather warm for a place and weather so cold, bearing the reminiscent of fading embers.Β  One more flicker and finally, light. It bloomed– a pale, incandescent glow that almost seemed ethereal, significant enough to shed something a few steps around, but not enough to combat the rest of the darkness that loomed further away. Cassella was glowing– literally, from her face to the locks of hair that framed it, even to the hand that latched on to him, partially hindered by the layers of clothing that kept her warm.

    For someone so flimsy at first glance, anyone will finally be able to sense that peculiar amount of strength that she had in her grasp, it was as if she could easily haul a grown man in a single sweep of the arm if she wished. And yet that didn’t happen, she urgently pulled him back regardless of any resistance, glittering eyes darting around, another gleaming hand held up defensively as she did. Back to the lobby she went, where the exit was close should they need it. Where it was more spacious in case she needed to retaliate. But for now…

    Was it terror? Shock? He was trembling so badly, all color drained away from him from the sight of that alone. There were so many questions going through her head, all of them pointing to what she just saw, but she can deal with that later. Cassella was firmly shaking him now, trying to take him back to the reality that they were both in, and that impending sense of dread where each precious second spent idle might mean an attack from any direction. β€œFuyuhiro, Ryusei!” His name– at least the one that she was well acquainted with, was uttered. And yet the concern on her face spoke volumes, betraying whatever force that her voice held. Her hold tightened, her tone now dropping to a softer, calmer whisper. β€œYou– look at me. Ryu. You’re here, with me. It’s trying to lure you away!”

    It’s alright, she wanted to say. It felt overused, on the times when that reassurance was not enough. He clearly wasn’t alright, and she needed to hurry. Lips parted once more, her next statement dauntlessly tumbling out without thought that even she seemed briefly surprised that it even came out at all. β€œI’ll protect you, remember?” That sounded like a promise to reference that brief conversation they had earlier, whether she truly meant that or not, perhaps only time will tell.

    After all, how can one protect somebody from their own past?Β 

    β€œIf you wanna make that bastard pay for spooking you, let’s get back to work.”

  • A minimum two-week hiatus is needed to sort stuff out.

    In the meantime, this is all very much still in editing.

    🐐

    10035266694?profile=RESIZE_584x

  • How does that other saying go? She could’ve teased again. Two good things don’t make a wrong something or other. A pouting, cheshire cat sigh filled the night air in a cloud of white. The warmth of it a hair's breadth away from his skin. See, after he picked her up, she took it upon herself to set her delicate chin on his shoulder. Enough force to remind him of her presence mixed with how she clung to him so that she did not fall.Β 

    Instead, she teases, β€œwho said this was good?” 

    With an excited look in her own eye, she whispers, β€œI could be a killer,” more like a heartbreaker and collector of proverbial romances. He isn’t safe with her, let alone from her. Playful insinuation with a glint of gleaned truth; this game of wit they had going worked it’s claws beneath her defenses to eagerly peel back her layers.Β 

    Yet, naming all the ways this dynamic can go dangerously wrong for both of them is thrilling and disarming. Who else would have the gull? Let alone, if true, simply be able to say, I knew it. And still feel like they came out on top when things inevitably go south.Β 

    Β β€œI could be a criminal!” she exasperates again. A single eyebrow rose as if to emphasize her point and she tilted her head slightly to look at his profile better. Those thick lashes batting at him. All seriousness is chased away by the laughter threatening to bubble forth from her lips and break through her poker face. There's an inherent life about the woman as she responds to him.Β  They coined it as presence but this seemed to be a charisma less cultivated and more innate. The kind that sucks you in before you know what’s happened. No one has ever found a life like hers.Β 

    Show me how you can redeem me of my sins make me beg with that old-world poise.

    A snowflake or two latch onto her lashes. Momentarily lingering before melting away after a slow drawn blink. Her head tilts to the side as much as she dares to lay on his shoulder. Nearly pitch black hair falls over the shoulder to tease at his chest.Β 

    Her clinging arm shifts so that with her temporarily free hand she raises a finger. Finger tapped the temple, flirting with the edge of an eye holding her sly smile head on.Β 

    Saiaku no koto o shi nasai.

    His challenge spoken into the air pulls the answer forth like a secret spilled.Β  Had they not been this close he wouldn’t have heard it through the snowy winds. Hell, it can barely be in that moment. β€œKeep you on your knees,” she whispers gently. It’s anyone’s guess on what exactly she means by that loaded answer.Β 

    But she stares at him as a doe-eyed girl with a lavishly soft smolder that makes eyeliner unnecessary and as a girl who’s stare is as vivid and engaging as any shooting-star. They share that moment like one of intimacy. A seconds worth of vulgarity rich with chemistry.Β 

    A delicate finger traces a path over his wet shirt, following the patter of the snowflakes like a constellation across his chest.Β 

    β€œMaybe cast a spell or two,” she says even more off-handedly. Only a word away from the truth of what she could do with the magic at her fingertips. The sudden stop of his person has her stomach sinking. A heaviness of rocks weighing her down. Her heartbeat ticks up and pounds through her chest, this close to him and clinging for life already, he’s sure to feel the beat of it against his back.Β 

    Slowly, her eyelashes squeeze shut as if she could deny the beckoning curse of that red neon light glaring to life overhead. She’s convinced for a moment the universe is conspiring against her.Β 

    Breathe in, breathe out…slowly…that’s it….she mentally steals her nerves before she reopens her eyes. Considering the bits and pieces she heard through her panic. Pupils blown wide as she searches his face this close. And still she doesn’t even think to ask for a name. A name which as magic promises holds power.Β 

    Her eyes bounce between his. Linger on his features and then his lips, back to his eyebrows. Seeking, searching for a thread of deception. Up close you have to be able to read these things better, right? Right. But there, beneath the glow of the no vacancy she glows as a red light lorelei and she’s entrapped by his silhouette also aglow beneath the light. She lingers longer committing this sinner’s red glowing silhouette to memory.Β 

    As if immune to the allure, yet affected by the charm; the magnitude of the moment, this game of cat and mouse, is the circling of two people who know the other is going to end up playing a paramount part in their still lived life.Β 

    β€œWhy?” 

  • [ Sorry for being M.I.A, it's quite hectic on my end. I'll try my best to deliver as quickly as I can, thank you for being patient. I wish you all a wonderful and prosperous New Year! ]

  • "If someone hands you a buck for your excuses, you wouldn't need this job anymore." Paired with that rather brazen accusation, Cassella looked unimpressed as she crossed her arms, her lips pursed. A hint of displeasure was apparent, and yet there was something quite sobering about that conversation. Mercury eyes were cast upon the cloaked windows. β€œNope, I’m not alright,” That was a very quick answer, bearing a surprising amount of quiet candor for someone who can weave intricate lies on a drop of a hat. When was she, ever? "It's getting really weird out there, I think you're well aware. I'll be lucky if I still have all my organs intact by next year, and I need to get things done."Β WeirdΒ was an understatement for someone who has been in one small fraction of the frontline. She took a deep breath. It looked like she was actually about to confess something, based on the fleeting, agitated look on her face, and the way her brows knitted, which most likely went unnoticed.

    No, that wouldn't make much sense.Β No need to make things complicated over her folks' vague divination results, or whatever careful measures they were now asking the rest to carry out. To her, who was still unaware of the underlying issue regarding this entire fiasco, this side operation of hers was just a smidgen of a coincidence in the grand, hellish scheme of things. Biting back her tongue, Cassella left it at that for now. Instead, she patiently waited for Ryusei to come up with whatever he was hellbent on scrolling for.

    That grin of his was already spelling out trouble. Leaning closely to peer at the ghoul on the screen, her gaze narrowed down at the sight of his amusement.Β 

    You insolent little brat–

    One silvery eye visibly twitched, the brief vexation thinly veiled. β€œWhat aΒ wonderfulΒ wingman you are, Ryu, what will my poor love life do without you?”

    And yet even with all that sarcasm dripping from her silken voice, it did seem like she was inwardly agreeing to this arrangement, based on how she collected herself, neatly sliding back her seat where it belonged, gesturing for him to take the lead so she could follow her exit. That ghoul has been her ticket to getting in this city after all, and this could be a decent chance to see what Ryusei can do, even with the artifact's interference. Other than that, she was just hesitant to let this man out of her sight. Was it worry? Anxiety?Β Seriously, all these for a guy that she nearly stabbed before? Maybe it was all because she still assumed he would just try to slip away at the first chance he gets?

    Both of them, so full of doubt, for all the valid reasons.

    "Can we try to get that thing alive? I have people who'd want to study that."



    . . .

    Β 

    The dreary cold nipped at her the moment she stepped out of the premises, already brushing a conspicuous tint of scarlet across her pale face. That porcelain complexion and the boreal weather never seemed to agree, it was an age-old quarrel that no amount of long coats, cable knit dresses, or downy scarves could ever quell, and yet Cassella persisted through the stroll without a complaint regarding the matter, she'd take that over the glaring summer in a heartbeat. Through laneways and sidewalks filled with those who remained blissfully unconcerned of any possible impending ruin, blending amongst the crowd was rather easy. There were times that she looked rather distracted, however, not from the sights that it has to offer, but something only frayed thoughts could reach.

    Cassella wasn't aware of Ryusei's personal or romantic plights for the night, but it looked like they were both getting something out of the matter, and she's not one to put a damper to that mood by prying. Well... except for some personal details, like a current phone number and an address that would suffice for emergencies. Might as well ask, unless he'd want her to turn up unannounced again. As much as she liked the idea of being thatΒ delightfulΒ little surprise, to any suspicions she would promise that she wouldn't have much use for the information after this quandary with Nergal was sorted out. This ghoul was most likely just the first.Β 



    The fabled Times Square was bathed in an assortment of lights and fluorescence, digital advertisements and banners in all shifting colors illuminating most of the known paths that led to its heart. Nostalgia was a big part of this city's charm, easily bringing up the sordid and grittier time of its earlier years, of inclement days spent with friends, of strange nights in strangers' cradles, and some distant holidays and new years long gone spent alone. It was that time of the year, where jovial cheer was plastered all over the place in the most radiant, and rather energetic way possible. Too bad, it wasn’t in the light where they will be staying. The darker outskirts and the derelict corners of the city region were probably their best bet, places where folk of seemingly stately status hardly frequented by sundown unless shadier reasons brought them there.Β Should chaos ensue, it should be far enough from all passersby.

    In a way, Ryusei’s suspicions were right: Cassella, despite various layers of initial, complex precaution, was crazy enough that if it’s not traffic accidents, it was scrapes with the supernatural that she was willing to gamble her sanity and her body into. Not even deep off the beaten track, she was already taking her gloves off, fishing around in her coat to produce a needle-point knife– not intended for him this time– but for herself, preparing to superficially nick a hand to draw out living blood.

    Tonight, this woman was aΒ veryΒ willing bait, already intending to lure a ravenous monster out of hiding by an old method that she knew best, the flesh and blood that hardly any undead could resist.



    ||Β Happy holidays to you, goat god! It’s your month to shine!Β .+:q(οΎ‰ο½₯Ο‰ο½₯)οΎ‰οΎžβ›§

  • This man, in his tailored coat and haircut made to look hapless intrigue's her. He a wolf in sheep’s clothing (yes, she spots the glint in his eye) or a venus fly trap that she’s readily flying into even as she wanders closer. She, the ingenue of illicit gains; the keeper of artful, guileful ways. Though, certainly: she proves to be a little dirty, a less refined patron next to him, perhaps her ass(ets) are ones to keep in mind.

    She tilts her head, dipping her chin a little as he nestles his coat upon her shoulder. Her face turned towards him and in that moment, from a distance any might think twice about how close they were and if they were secret lovers finally meeting up. Her thick lashes kiss her cheeks as she looks at this hands and the coat. Instant warmth seeped into her from where it once clung to his warm shoulders. A puff air exhales from her nostrils in a cloudy wisp for the cold and brushes against his knuckles. Her lips part as she inhales and watches him.Β 

    In a hedonic voice, more experienced than her twenty-something years she says, β€œmio eroe.” Her hero indeed. The Italian rolls off her tongue thick and heavy. Full indication of her roots. Another unmistakable feature for those hunting her.Β 

    He looks the rescuing trickster type; though, she certainly cannot judge these things harshly. Secrets are for the wicked; and their Pandora's boxes all tidy in clandestine priceless niches slowly and inevitably clashing together.Β 

    Maybe there is true benevolence in the world after all. Could it really hurt her to trust a little, even if only for the night and lean into the unknown secrets they may share. She has no issues doing it on any other occasion. Cassius couldn’t make this that much more different than the dangers she faced in the name of research.Β Β 

    Alert eyes watch him as he kneels. She traps her bottom lip between her teeth.Β 

    β€œAt this advantage, I could do many things. And yet you still have the advantage.” Her eyes flicker to her injured arm. She’s scrappy, but even she knows when she would struggle most to survive. β€œThe real question is why would you give me the chance to?” Certainly, she doesn’t look that innocent. Even if it’s to persuade her living as she has this last year taught her otherwise. Don’t turn your back on someone who would use every opportunity they could to be at an advantage.Β 

    She cast her gaze to the mouth of the alley she ran through. Cassius could come around the corner any second. Her eyes dart down the block. She knows the motel he speaks of. It’s close and within tossing distance of where she had been. Innocent lips part to speak, but she swallows it again, casting her gaze back to the charmer at her feet. Half tempted to ask for something further and more hidden. Every time she has run in the past it’s been longer and further. She could only hope Cassius would follow her old habits instead of looking for her injured as a bird with a broken wing.

    β€œUnless, you enjoy flirting with dangerous and pretty little things?” Surely, her interloper must know as much. No one rescues a damsel without knowing danger lurks around her.Β 

    In fact, the petite, albeit desperate, hustler will take whatever rescue this would-be Cavalier would offer to get her out of her debacle. Even when he turns on his alluring and tempting charm.Β 

    Her naked, pale face blushes pink. The instinct for survival submits.Β 

    It is the magnet of deep-seeded connection that brings her closer, the fascinated moth to the flame. A reciprocity of kindred aberrant souls? After all, he's able to joke with her and shatter through the hesitancy a fraction more. Regret may fill her later, but for now, she survives. More with the fondness of old friends, she climbs onto his back. Careful not to jostle her injured arm and clinging on for dear life with the other as it wraps around his shoulders. The wet in her clothes soaks through his own readily.Β 

    β€œGuida la strada, mio salvatore", - lead the way, my savior- the dramatic and kindly teasing drop of her tone turns to a velvety deference.

  • The woman was positively glowing, answering that wordless inquiry with a dazzling smile of her own, not even breaking the character in the slightest. The warm handshake was met with professional finesse and decorous formalities. How she had heard so many good things about the entire place. How excited she is to discuss this with him. Resplendent littleΒ Miss Smith allowed herself to be led away, already leaving quite the impression to anyone else in that office that they had already come across. The self-satisfaction was evident as she beamed up at him, that even as the man stepped out, it was apparent that this smug grin of hers won't be leaving anytime soon.

    Now left to her own devices for a while, Cassella remained to inspect the materials displayed in the open. That brief encounter in Paris only gave the slightest window about what kind of person he was, and maybe this place will hold more clues. From the quickest sketches to brief introductions of past hardbound portfolios, none of those ever fell short. It looks like she did choose the right person for the job, after all. The little collection of photographs and mementos weren't missed, all of it depicting a man so passionate about this little life that he was leading. Even with the brief, wistful tug at her chest, it was beautiful. Almost perfect. Too damn normal.

    "Huh, so it's this little world that you're trying so hard to keep."

    She would, too. Probably with so much desperation. Whatever drove him to that extent of 'living his life as boringly as possible', away from most vestiges of the arcane must have been that appalling, everyone has their reasons after all. Cassella studied the faces for anyone that seemed familiar-- partly wondering about any family she could take note of. A spouse, kids, pets or some doting parents?Β 

    There was none to be recognized.

    Compared to standard neon sticky notes, her own pocket pad was a muted patch of whites, pastel pinks, and round little cartoon bunnies, which would eventually find a tucked home on one discreet corner of the bulletin board. The day's date was scrawled on one corner.

    γ€Œ β€œYou should have seen the look on your face earlier, Ryu.

    It deserves a spot here~" 」

    Β 

    Ryusei will find the pale woman seated as if she never roamed, with nothing noticeably out of place, other than her leafing through the latest issue of Metropolis that she had gotten a hold of from somewhere. Cassella did brighten up at the sight of the coffee, her appreciation apparent, whispered so cheerily that it almost seemed like the beginning of a typical appointment. Any miscalculation with the beverage wasn't voiced out-- weirdly enough, it has a quirky way of growing on her, tasting a bit better than what she usually has. She suspiciously savored the steaming thing in silence, still eyeing at him, wondering if she should ask for the brew's brand just to start.

    She didn't have to.

    Cassella stared at him, mildly taken aback that she had to daintily set the steaming mug down, searching through his face. It was an awkward recognition, somewhat strained, yet genuine regardless...

    "You're… not used to saying that, are you?"

    That whimsical purr was trembling and twitching at the seams. From the way her eyes twinkled, she was trying not to chuckle out loud. Cassella gently shook her head. The sheer relief was evident on her face, completely overshadowing any amusement there was. "I'm glad it did, I had no way of knowing. Do you even have any idea how much mental gymnastics I went through all because you never called back?Β Tch. You heartbreaker."

    It was a light jab that she couldn't just resist. This entire arrangement in his office could have been avoided if he only kept in touch, but she did get the kick out of it somehow. Maybe it was worth it.

    While they were at it, Cassella reached over to the bag on her lap. Papers rustled within, a mild clink of something metallic, one can only wonder what organized chaos that vintage designer handbag was now housing. "I figured that you might have used it up. Asking for more won't kill you." What she produced was a glass jar that was considerably bigger than the last, with the same rabbit decals. This one was faintly glowing in her hands, delicately casting a pale gold iridescence upon anything it touched. Placing it over the table, she gingerly slid this over to his direction. "Don't worry, it's not radioactive. I just increased the dosage of a few things. I'm going in a bit blindly on this, given that I haven't seen the wound myself and I'm just relying on memory. Progression could be worse than I think… but be assured that it won't make you grow an extra arm!"

    Very reassuring.

    With that dealt with, she fell silent. Cassella was openly staring at him now, chin propped against interlaced fingers, fully taking a visible note of how much things have changed from the last time that she saw him. Where the hell could she even begin? The thing has already leached out any remaining healthy pallor for the most part. The fluorescent lights overhead didn't deliver any justice to make anything look a tad bit better. Has anyone said anything to this man these past few days?

    "You seem to be holding up, Ryu, I'm amazed." The tone was quite dry. Yet anyone wouldn't miss the apprehension that wavered her voice. β€œI’m not showing up here just to randomly slander you, but man, you look like death. How have you been?”

    That was one question begging to be answered, tucked away for weeks. Another one was – 

    "You do know that you can't ignore and run away from this forever, right?"

  • Β  Granted Maya was not the dealer. It was assumed fairy dust was at fault here. Of course not by her own mind. Maya was a young Fae. A rather inexperienced one at that. Fairy dust was something she'd kept in a vial around her neck, much like her mother had done before she passed away. It was a small detail that only contributed to the mirroring of her mother's image. Maya had never had a use for her own dust. Never had a reason to tap into its power. Did it even have power? At this moment, the Fairy was sadder at the fact her necklace had been stolen.

    Β  Shoulders hung at her sides as the curly-haired Fairy sighed. She'd lost her necklace and had a nice little slice across her collar bone to remember the scene by.Β 

    Β  An echoing explosion-like sound pulled Maya from her self-loathing and refocused her attention to the path ahead of her. She could not see anything but heard people partying earlier before. Truth be told, she was heading in the party's direction anyway in hopes of scooping up a quick meal.Β 

    Β  As voices arose in terror, Maya's ocean blues searched the darkness. She could not see what had panned out; Not until she turned the corner. Quickening her steps, black slip-ons shuffled over the loose gravel that would eventually change into sand. Making that final round, Maya was met with chaos and panic from a vast majority of the partygoers. Each was so wrapped up in their own fear that none bothered to notice the new presence.Β 

    Β  Maya drew herself closer to inspect the ash but still kept a moderate distance from the crowd that had already formed prior. Now tuning into the voices of those panicked humans, she was beginning to understand what transpired here. Combusted? Exploded? Burned to Ash? Ironically, it all seemed a little too supernatural for her. She'd been traveling this far without getting into trouble, she wouldn't start now.Β 

    Β  Sticking to the outskirts of the event, the Fairy passed by the lanky man prior described. Her ocean blues looked up from the ground only long enough to connect with that golden pendant of his. Quickly, she'd shuffle her gaze downward and attempt to continue on her route. Why had she eyeballed the necklace? There was truly no reason. Perhaps it was the first thing that stuck out to her. Perhaps it was the longing to have her own pendant back. Either way, the Fairy wanted out of here.Β Ribadesella might have been a small peaceful town, but with dangers lurking about, it was time for Maya to leave. For now, she'd do her best to scurry away from this scene. Come tomorrow, she'd head for the hills.

  • [ Thank you!! I'm a Cap and wandered over to your page :) Hope we write sometime! ]

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