After her tiring extra works she spared herself for the past month, Celia just wanted to do nothing more than to land face first against her pillow and shroud herself with her blanket, maybe even take a hibernating period of this time for a few years… or decades. Because of how much she’s done 3 days ago, she finally got her leave permitted by the hospital board, a 2 day leave, nothing too much, it’s not a long period, nowhere near a vacation worthy period but it meant everything to the Valkyr, considering she’s slowly going crazy and annoyed from smelling the sterilized hallway of the hospital every time she passed them. As a result, the Italian brunette had been spending the second day of her leave wisely. Yesterday, she visited an exhibition in Manhattan and did a side shopping to destress herself. If there was one thing that Cecilia Laterza likes to pride herself into doing, it was probably shopping, even when she probably wouldn’t have enough time to flaunt those new clothing when she’s just going to be stuck inside her office at the hospital nowadays, but still, a little fashion never hurts.

 She had also gotten a few blonde highlights in her hair and trimmed them slightly so it wouldn’t look as bushy. The first thing Ce found herself doing the moment she woke up from her slumber was to reach out for her phone at the bedside table, checking the time displayed across the screen with her eyes squinted before yawning a few times. She allowed herself to bask in the good rest she’s gotten before climbing out of her bed and head over to the bathroom. She may have also had fun yesterday that resulted in a tiny hangover, nothing she couldn’t fix after a cold shower and a few aspirin. Much to her surprise, Celia didn’t party while she was in New York, she only stopped at a few bars to drink and maybe sink her fangs into one or two but she didn’t bring anyone home. So that was something. After spending half an hour in the showers, she came out with a towel wrapped around her hair and body, checking over the plans she had made today, it wasn’t until she saw the invitation to a charity gala on her bedside table that Ce finally remembered she was supposed to attend that one gala in Berlin.

 She went over to her closet to see if she had anything that was formal enough or half as worthy to wear but returned to her bed with a frown, “New dress…” she muttered to herself and decided to drop by a certain boutique today to get a dress tailored. She’s never been there before but rumor has it, the Celestial Wayfinder is managing it so maybe she’d get to have a little chat on the way too. Once the Valkyr dried her hair using the blow dryer, she styled them using the hair curler but the prep for her hair didn’t take as long because if there was anything the Italian Valkyr knew to take care of, it’s also her hair. Dressed in a navy blue blouse and jeans, the female made a quick dash to grab her bag and tucked her phone in as she hummed to herself a soft tune, walking down the hallway and exiting the residence soon enough.

 The engine was started before long and the Valkyr only had a coy smile gracing her burgundy lips as she drove the car to the city center, eyes glazing over the address she had keyed into the GPS a few times. It went on for a while until she caught sight of the boutique across the block after a few minutes of searching. After quickly parking her car, she noticed that two people just exited while giggling to themselves, she wondered if this was the right boutique and contemplated for a while as she entered. That’s when she saw the Wayfinder working behind the counter, “Are you busy or should I come another time?” she exclaimed coolly. "Though I am in a desperate need for a dress..."

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She laughed and lowered her gaze slightly when Ce questioned her choice of words “I’m not the threatening type” she commented and glanced to the side and then back towards the brunette, Phe could be a scary leader when she needed to be, but mostly she chose to be diplomatic and kind rather than attempt to intimidate others. “Like a seesaw that keeps pushing one way and then the other...always tethered by the weight resting on the other side” it was poetic when you thought about it really. Ce’s power came from darkness and Phe’s came from light and yet they had been able to find common ground “Poetic really...though light is never fully light and dark is never fully dark” there was good and bad in everyone and it balanced itself in different ways.

She grinned when Ce agreed with her that sleeping was definitely something to savor “Sounds like you need to schedule in some rest time” she commented and shook her head slightly, she couldn’t imagine how exhausting it must be to work for 16 hours straight, she was sure that the valkyr felt practically dead on her feet by the end “You must be superwoman to be able to work for that long” she commented and shook her head slightly. She looked up at Ce and laughed “Well look at you, the picture of grace” she commented and smiled softly “I wonder what it would take to surprise you…” she considered it for a moment “You have to have something that bothers you right?” she tilted her head playfully.

“The press would make it out to be scandalous” she commented thoughtfully, Phe liked to think she was free to spend time with whoever she wanted and befriend others but she knew being an ambassador in the city meant her moves would be scrutinized “I just really like pineapple” she commented and grinned playfully, taking another sip before setting it down on the table. She eyed Ce’s drink when the valkyr explained that it was meaner than it looked “Most pretty things can be deadly” she commented and grinned before reaching over to steal Ce’s drink so she could take a sip and see for herself. She swallowed and then grinned “I prefer mine but it’s pretty good” she commented and offered hers for Ce to try.

Phe looked up from her drink and shrugged “They asked if they could put a flyer up in my shop” she commented and nodded, she had agreed, support locally owned businesses and all, she liked to do her part. She glanced over at the dancers and then to Ce before blushing softly “I think that’s for the VIPs” she commented in a hushed tone but she was sure that would intrigue the valkyr.

She raised her eyebrows playfully and chuckled, "No? Why not? Is it not your style then? Everyone can be threatening when the time calls for it or if they want to be." She finds that the innocent ones are much crazier when they flip the lid off. Ce rarely showed what she is to others, but most of the time when people hear her name, especially if they are a valkyr, they know better than to cross her. She wasn't exactly the forgiving type and wasn't called a mad dog for no reason. Though, over the centuries, she did make a name that is more positive than the usual image one would have. She thought that if she was going to be around for a while, the least she could do is make a good legacy out of it. She didn't want to be known as the scary person only, that was incredibly dull for someone who enjoys a lot of things like her. "It's probably the universe's strange way of bringing together what they created." 

At the end of the day, they have to co-exist. Unlike most of the other species, the celestials are not born and while valkyr aren't inherently born, they had human bodies and only changed after a death or for some, near death experience. Similar yet so different. "I do have better stamina than most considering what I am and it wouldn't exactly be the first time I have put in a lot of hours in my work… it just becomes me." In time, Ce realized she couldn't give up her passion for healing, whether it was just by helping people feel better or studying more about the medicine world that kept on getting more modern with the technology they have today. "I have always been a healer even up until my death so if I give it up now, I feel like I'm somewhat betraying myself. After all, I did pass from a plague." She shouldn't take her life for granted. "But I would love to get a few more hours of sleep for sure." 

If she wasn't working at the hospital, she was either instructing her brokers to hunt a few rogues down or she's compiling a few reports on their even bigger and growing faction. The number of valkyr are increasing tremendously over the past century which says something. "Yes, I do have something that bothers me, like any other normal person. Currently? It's trying to find out why the number of our species is suddenly increasing tenfold overnight for the past decade. I'm not saying dead people should just stay dead but that's exactly what I'm saying." It's not the number of valkyr that concerns her, it's the number of newborns who ended up being rogues. "What about you? What bothers you?" Evermore is a city that keeps its tabs on everyone, quite literally. She could understand the discomfort for ambassadors that stemmed from that. 

She took a sip of Phe's drink and hummed softly in affirmation, "Definitely fruity. That's why you have to love roses. So pretty yet so deadly…" Cassie used to love them. Her gaze went over and caught the eye of one of them which made her smirk in response, "I have a feeling you might have a heart attack if an exotic dancer gives you a show" she teased.

She shrugged slightly “I don’t think you need to threaten people to get your point across, sometimes just being steadfast is the best way” she commented and shrugged slightly, besides she was small and dainty, she didn’t exactly paint a terrifying picture. Ce however, had a stare that could certainly be seen as intimidating and she walked with a certain air about her which she was sure made many people found threatening without her even needing to say a word. “I guess...everything has to keep spinning in the same circle” they kept pushing one around in a circle and that in turn kept everything moving.

Phe smiled softly when Ce spoke about how she just kinda ended up getting wrapped up in her work “I’m sure there are many people in the world that are thankful you work so hard” she was out there saving lives after all and that was more than most people could say they did for a living. It honestly made the celestial admire her a lot, especially considering she knew what she was and how challenging it must be for her to do work like that. “It honestly amazes me how anyone can stay true to themselves after so much time” she mused in a soft voice, she had definitely been guilty of veering off the path a few times. “Who wouldn’t” she teased when Ce finally concluded she would like to have a few more hours sleep.

Phe nodded slightly when Ce explained how the thing that bothered her was something related to her faction, the star could certainly understand the thought process behind all that, as an ambassador, it certainly felt like your people were always at the forefront of your mind and that made it hard to shut off and think about your own wants. “Surely if you manage to find them and onboard them into the faction it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing?” she questioned curiously, it seemed like Ce didn’t see being a valkyr as a good thing.

Phe popped her lips when Ce asked her what bothered her “People who talk during movies...when people insist on using their devices rather than getting an old fashioned book...when you go to a fast-food restaurant and they don’t give you any sauce for your fries” she smiled and chuckled, there were many things that bothered a person. Phe widened her eyes when Ce asked what her reaction would be to a dancing coming close “I can’t...answer that question” she murmured, blushing as she took another sip of her drink “Are you making fun of me, Cece?” she questioned and gave her a playful glare.

She has always been a regal person, or that's what she has been hearing her entire life."You know even as a child, people used to say I'm hard to control… they think I'm a problem child. I mean they're not exactly wrong but I didn't grow up to beat people either, I ended up acing my scores and worked my way up to be the head healer. But I can't hide my valkyr side, which is admittedly sometimes naughtier." She likes the respect that comes with it though. It feels so weird that she's saving lives while also taking the other part, of course she doesn't drain people for their blood, after she got ahold of her blood thirst, Celia was very particular on how she conducted things. She also believes in self control being the number one priority for every one of them so it wasn't surprising to find her being strict about blood consumption. 

"I have to make up for what I've done either way… I help people today the way I did centuries ago, hoping that the world wouldn't be as cruel to the unfortunate." It is the way things are, but if she could ease or lift it up a bit, then she'd like to try. Life wasn't fair to her either. "I have steered clear from my path a lot over the years, but I've lived for a long time so I had… a period of adjustment every few centuries, that's for sure. It gets tedious at one point but it works. I'm not a saint, but I try not to be the bad guy in people's stories." It wasn't as if she didn't like her own species, at first she was a bit weirded out by the concept but after a while of living in the community she was adopted in and now currently lead, she knew what makes them good too. But sometimes, you can't control everyone and if you can't control her kind, then there's going to be a lot of mayhem and blood on your hands. 

"I don't worry about newborns… I'm more concerned about rogue newborns. Those who barely could digest what they're supposed to be and do but fall into the trap their own primal instincts created. Sometimes I can't even blame them for it because it's not easy to reject blood, especially when you're hungry. I need more hands on deck and whoever it is that is turning these newborns, I need to find them before it's too late. Overpopulation has always been a problem, even for us. You can't just… turn someone because you want to. Sometimes your reasons are justified but it doesn't always pan out, it's… difficult." That's why she didn't even dare turn anyone until Yeon.

She chuckled when she talked about the things that bothered her, "No sauce on the fries? How uncultured…" The nickname had her grinning widely, "I don't know, Fifi, it's only a challenge if you see it as one, are you sure you're up for it? I mean I get it, not everyone can handle an exotic dancer" she teased.

She chuckled because of course Ce managed to ace everything despite being rebellious and not wanting to follow what people told her she was supposed to do “They say the kids that act out the most are usually bored because their intellectual needs aren’t being met” she was sure there were a lot of very smart people out there who were overlooked because they couldn’t focus during their classes or were never guided to use their talents the right way. “Naughtier” she repeated and chuckled softly “I don’t think you’re supposed to confess that” she chided softly and grinned “Especially when you’re supposed to be their responsible leader” she teased in an amused manner.

“I think that’s noble...we’ve all made mistakes but not everyone is willing to own up to them and make changes” she murmured softly, she had been trying to make right the things she had done but she still felt guilty for the part she played in getting the celestials locked up, especially because she told them they could trust them. “That’s what important...finding a balance between enjoying your own life and...making others better too” she had to admit she often put others before herself and her own happiness usually had to take a backseat. Which she supposed was why love had never really worked out for her.

She glanced over at the dark-haired female with a curious expression “I mean it must be confusing right? At first you’re dead and then you suddenly aren’t but you have these...urges” she could imagine valkyr left to fend for themselves after such a traumatic experience could be inclined to give in to the temptations, unable to see the difference between what they should and shouldn’t do. “It must be sad to...lose people though” she murmured softly, she could see why people would want to turn others, there was far too much sadness and suffering in the world and they had the opportunity to change it.

“I guess the important thing is to...take responsibility for the people you turn” but she could imagine not everyone did and that was how things spiralled. “I know right?” she shook her head slightly, she hated bland food so it bothered her whenever she was expected to eat it. Phe bit her lip softly when Ce challenged her “I’ve seen much crazier in the world than a dancer” she murmured softly, though she had to admit she still wasn’t confident.

“I mean, I was pretty smart” she mused teasingly, Ce was considered to be bright compared to her peers, she didn’t mingle too easily and knew how to keep to herself. But her time spent in Ravenna training to be a healer made her an extrovert that wasn’t afraid of taking risks as well as making friends. As years passed by, she got a hold of it. She smirked when Phe mentioned she wasn’t supposed to confess about that, “But then it wouldn’t be honest and I’m all about honesty” she cooed, “besides it’s not as if I’m actually embarrassed about it. If I’m not shy about it, then why the need to keep secrets anyway? I embrace them.” It makes her who she is today. No amount of lies could top anything. “I never claimed to be the most responsible person in the room.”

Honestly, Ce never thought she would be a leader, she didn’t even think it was even possible for her to rise up in that position. All these years, she acted as the second in command, the right hand but nothing more because she didn’t think she was fit to lead but desperate times required drastic measures. “It’s okay, they have two leaders in this space and out of the two of us, you can be the responsible one.” It wasn’t to say she wasn’t serious about things but she didn’t like to be uptight about it either. Her life has revolved around pleasure for the longest of time, after all. “If you own up to your mistakes, then it makes you every bit responsible and that’s something only you could make.” The Italian didn’t think it was up to anyone to dictate how they conduct their lifestyle but for things you had partook in, it’s best to claim responsibility.

“You’re so cute,” she chuckled. When asked about the first time, Ce pursed her lips and hummed softly in affirmation, “It was… confusing, exactly. I knew I was dead, I was caught up as one of the frontliners to battle the plague, it wasn’t something you could just walk away unscathed. But then I woke up feeling like my throat is the driest it has ever been. The thirst was something else, as a newborn, it was hard to control it because all you could think about is your amplified emotions taking over every other sensory thing in your body.” There were often times when she didn’t realize she did things. “That’s why we punish those who turn others without any reason. Valkyr are not supposed to be bad no… but if you don’t control your own, then it’s bound to get out.” She was right, you had to assume responsibility for the ones you’ve turned but not everyone is like that, which makes a lot of things more difficult than it needs to be.

She raised her eyebrow in amusement, “Oh, of course you have. Is that Fifi rising up to a challenge, I see? Because I dare you to get a dance from one and still maintain a straight face. No expressions whatsoever” she purred and leaned in, her hazel hues twinkling with mischief, “Unless you’re afraid, of course, in which by all means, you can back out.”

The wayfinder laughed in a soft manner when Ce pointed out that she would essentially rather be honest than sensitive to what others thought thought about her “Talk about being wholly unapologetic” she commented in a soft voice shaking her head in amusement, sometimes she wished she could be so free when it came to how she held herself and how she acted because she had always given other people’s opinions far too much room in her head. She shook her head slightly when Ce said she could be the responsible leader out of the two of them “I dare say you’re doing better than you think you are in that department”.

It was evident that even though Ce wasn’t necessarily someone who was born to be a leader she had taken on the role when people needed her to and she had qualities about her that were likable and also reliable. “I like to be...honest with people about the person they are following” she responded and nodded her head slightly, she wasn’t and never had been perfect and she wanted to ensure those who were behind her were aware of that, she didn’t always do the right thing or head down the right path but she always did so with the best of intentions.

The celestial watched Ce with her dark, doe eyes as the elder female explained what she went through when she had first been turned into a valkyr, confusing was definitely the right wording choice, she couldn’t even guess how jarring it must have felt “Someone decided to save you from a certain path that night but at the same time they didn’t stick around to make sure you were going to be okay?” she pouted her lips slightly, it seemed reckless to her to turn someone but not be there for the person you turned. Though it seemed like it was pretty common from what Ce was saying.

“If it me I would feel...awful asking anyone to fend for themselves like that” she commented and shook her head slightly, valkyr were such an interesting species but sometimes it seemed like they didn’t help themselves when it came to how they were seen by the world. Ce’s dare made Ophelia widen her eyes for a moment before biting on her lip “I’m not afraid” she insisted, a little nervous perhaps but nothing she wouldn’t be able to overcome, so when one of the girls was passing their table, she purposely made eye contact to hint she wanted their attention and it wasn’t long before she got it.

She flipped her hair playfully and shrugged, "I don't have a lot of things that I think I should be ashamed of, I've lived a long life, Phe, if I don't enjoy things, I may as well rot" it's hard to find faults in yourself these days because you didn't really want to be reminded of them. If she let what people think of her get the best of her, then she'll never stop changing, it'll be too tedious. "I don't see myself as a natural born leader in that sense, you know? Not really an official title where I have to manage everyone… all this time I've always been the leader of a convoy or something, that type. Now, I have to deal with two types of people… one who thinks of me as their leader, and the other who's still afraid to come up to me to say anything because all the rumors they've heard about Cecilia Laterza are only those of which I pluck people off. Sometimes people make me seem like I'm  a butcher… albeit a fashionable and classy one but yes." 

It didn't bother her, she would rather have people fear or respect her. "You are born in the role and you're doing a good job at it, though I imagine it can be very pressuring at times, huh? Anyone can probably take my mantle up if they're strong enough and have experience, but you celestials, you only have one Wayfinder." It wasn't exactly a fair department to compare themselves at. Ce shook her head when Phe came to that conclusion, "Oh no, not me. Others, plenty but that didn't happen to me. I was turned by the first, you know him. And ironically when I say the first, I was also the first valkyr that was turned, since he's more to the part of being created. He looked after me but didn't impose because I was barely 25, and I didn't have a day of rest ever since I became a healer. I had to slow down and digest my situation on my own…" Her circumstances were slightly better compared to others. She wasn't abandoned. 

"Turning someone… is already a hard thing to do, to turn someone into a valkyr is no easy feat. Not every attempt is successful, so at least you know the people who are turned, albeit recklessly, they were turned with an intention. Rogues can't turn people easily, it takes more than just blood thirst and rage. Which is why it's harder to track those people who turn people at will, knowing exactly the chaos it'll bring if they are left unsupervised." There's a reason why she has only turned one person in her history. Her smirk grew wider when Phe took up the challenge and watched as one of them came over, the Italian was not holding back on her gaze either. "My friend here would like a dance, are you busy?" Another dancer, seemingly her twin, came by and whispered something to her and Ce couldn't help but chuckle, "They said there's a private room if you'd like a special dance." And obviously Ce was daring Phe to go along with that too.

She could respect Ce was wanting to make the most of her life and not live with regrets “You’re braver than most...even though I have forever to live I still feel cautious when it comes to making decisions” it was a curse she supposed but a lot of things had lead her to be like that, namely living life scared that her people may be captured or harmed. Hearing Ce talk about herself as a leader she bit her lip slightly “You have a commanding presence, I think people know they should listen to you...respect you” he spoke softly, she knew that Ce knew how to handle herself and she had more experience than anyone at being a valkyr, who better than to be their spokesperson? “But maybe they’re a little intimidated too...being a leader requires a little soft touch sometimes too” she murmured softly.

She nodded slightly when Ce pointed out the pressure that came with being the Wayfinder “I know I’m meant to be a leader because of...my constellation but sometimes I wonder if someone else would have been better than me” she never felt like she knew what she was doing when it came to making decisions for others and yet the world wanted her to keep making them, she just hoped that she could do right by them. “Being the first...things must have been confusing for you though, it isn’t like he would have had a lot of experience...showing someone the ropes” if it wasn’t for her, the valkyr race would still be a single person “As crazy as it must be to become a valkyr...it has to be better than the alternative right?” the alternative being dead.

She nodded slightly, turning people was was complicated she was sure, in a way by doing so you were taking someone’s life into your hands, you couldn’t be certain if the person you were turning wanted you to and if they were a stranger then there were other things to consider “All you can do is your best with the knowledge you have” she commented in a soft voice as she nodded her head slightly “Not to mention people could turn others out of spite...or selfishness” it was complicated for sure. Phe bit harshly on her lip when Ce asked the dancer if she could have a private dance but being stubborn as she was, she nodded slightly to agree she would take it. She had to admit she was a little nervous but she wasn’t the type to back down.

When they entered the room she gave Ce a look before seating herself on one of the comfy looking chairs and eyed the dancer as she started to sway in front of her. She bit her lip softly as she watched her with careful eyes but she didn’t make a face.

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