Blood Type: B
Rui was “the smart kid” for years. He never stopped being smart, but he got fed up with the reputation. You see, Rui could tell every time someone was mad at him; every time they were disappointed or unhappily surprised. Every time he let someone down, he felt it, and he was sick of it. Why did they care about him so much? What made him such a big deal that he had to carry the world? Why did he have to do the right thing when other people didn’t? So he made a big mistake, on purpose. Something public, something that couldn’t be ignored. Something that would make everyone realize he was a bit broken, and stop expecting so much of him.
If only he could remember what it was.
Now, Rui fits in better. He’s not seen as “perfect Rui” any more. Sometimes he misses being on a pedestal, but mostly he’s just glad to be ordinary and to be able to be himself. People don’t ask him for help, and they don’t gasp when he gets a B on a paper. He can fly under the radar, and life is a lot easier that way.
There’s still some of his old ego left. He can’t admit that he’s afraid of anything or anyone. He can’t admit that he’d ever dislike someone. He’d never admit to having his own emotions interfere with his judgment. However, he’s perfectly willing to say that he doesn’t understand something or can’t do something, and it’s awful hard to convince him that he can.
Senior English (A), Multivariable Calculus (A), Music Theory (A), Ancient History (A), Advanced Physics (A), Advanced Chemistry (A)
Rui: Rui lusts (major) after Anna, and the two of them have a purely physical relationship. Mei hates him for wasting his potential; he wants to think that he couldn’t care less but really he’s nervous (major) that she might be right. He and Declan have been rivals (major) since they started training together. He alone among Soma‘s allies doesn’t realize that he’s being manipulated; instead he trusts (major) her. Rui believes in self-determination (defining) – that people should be left to do what they want, without anyone pushing them into it.
Zerith: Zerith is suspicious (major) of Halvath, the Harbinger of Final Battle. His presence here implies terrible things about this world. Catamira the Broken Hand was once Zerith’s lover, but now plots against her, and the two are enemies (major). Finally, Yondan, the Flame Without Fuel, is Zerith’s younger sibling (major). She tries her best to show him the proper way of all things, and though he may resent it, he loves her for it as well.
Rui is a boxer. He is fast and highly technically skilled. He doesn’t hit as hard as Declan, or take a hit as well as Everett, but he knows his own capabilities extremely well. His motions are practiced. He’ll chain together multiple attacks, moving from jab to cross to block/strike to uppercut fluidly and accurately. His fault is that he moves as if all of these are going to work. He hasn’t been in a lot of actual fights.
When it comes to academic subjects, Rui has years of positive momentum keeping him afloat in even the most challenging courses. Many people “make it through” calculus; Rui genuinely understood it. He has both memorized ancient history and understood the motivations of those who were present – alien and confusing though those motivations were.
Zerith ensures that Rui cannot fail. She does this before an event, by driving him to practice. She does this during the event, by twisting the fate of his opponents and preventing them from capitalizing on his openings. Those who would try to counterattack Rui, or distract him, or do anything else that might reduce his effectiveness will find themselves stymied by the world around them. This is a profound effect that stretches forward and backward through time. Rui’s teachers, for example, can (and do) write difficult problems for him, but not ones that he has not studied for. His opponents, studying his strategy, fall into Zerith’s purview and adopt countermeasures for which Rui has already prepared responses. He may be found weak or wanting, but never flawed.
As Rui fights, he becomes more and more the perfected version of himself. His form corrects itself. His clothing fits him better. The contrast in the world around him sharpens, until he is a sumi-e version of himself executing perfect techniques on a line-drawing battlefield.
- What did I do that changed everyone’s opinion of me?
- Why does our school not expel students?