Jack typed away on his laptop as it rested in his lap. To any random person, it would look like a black screen full of buzzing numbers and combinations that were always changing as he continued typing. To him, it was a reading a language few understood: code. Jack had briefly taken up the offer of creating a small flash game as an application to join a popular gaming company after he graduated, and he had been elated. It was a change from his less active and more depressing life lately, so he spent as much time as he could on it, sacrificing meals, energy, and sleep.
Grace opened up her laptop, as the hours that she dedicated to posting on game forums online began. As the current world champion of a gaming tournament, representing France at just 16 years of age (15 when she won), she was a popular figure in the community. After posting a review of a gaming company, a crown appearing next to her username to represent her elite status, she created a forum that asked about gaming careers. Her forum received many eager replies.
Finally finished with his masterpiece he grinned to himself widely and tested it out briefly. Once he was satisfied, he decided to post it on a popular gaming forum for feedback. He signed in and after checking his feed, he posted the game and decided to explore while he waited.
Grace happened to find Jack's game forum after posting her own. She found some negative comments about the game from trolls, but those were to be expected on the Internet. She also found the creator's username to be familiar, like she had encountered the individual before. Knowing the influence that she had, she decided to try out Jack's game. She ended up loving the game, it was by far one of the best flash games she had played. It wasn't sloppily made with poor graphics like most flash games, it was well done, which was what she loved about it. After playing the game, she went back to the forum and posted a positive review, praising the creator.
The first few notifications Jack received of rude comments immediately dampened his mood and he was tempted to take down the forum and give up on the game, but then Grace's review came up, and as he read it he began to feel elated once more. He quickly clicked 'Reply' and typed, "Thank you so much HopeAndDespair! This means so much to me, this being my first actual game and everything. And you're an Elite user too! I don't know what forces that exist caused you to find this lost forum, but thank you for looking into my game!" After posting his comment he debated on digging up so more information on this user and finally complied with this thoughts, pulling up a window to begin one of the few things he does best: hacking.
Grace posted a reply to Jack's comment. "You're welcome. Guys, please be nice to WhenYouHaveNoLife. This is their first game and it's a flash game, not a full video game. The developers who win Game of the Year usually win that accolade after years of creating games over and over again." Finishing off her nice reply, she posted it. Many people agreed with her reply, causing many positive replies to be posted on Jack's forum. Her avatar was that of Nagito Komaeda, a character from the game Super Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. Her profile didn't show much, as she was careful with what she revealed online. The information that was on there was obviously her username, HopeAndDespair, her Nagito avatar, her nationality, which she had set as "Monégasque, but people assume I'm French", her age: 16 and a small part of her "About Me" section - "I'm a world champion of a tournament, representing France (even though I'm a native of Monaco). Currently a fan of the Danganronpa series, but my heart lies with the Assassin's Creed series."
He started on her user page, briefly reading over the small information the user had given and memorized it before going deeper. After digging a while he was able to figure out where her radio signal was coming from and was a bit puzzled to discover that HopeAndDespair was currently in Elementrium and that HopeAndDespair was indeed on campus. "So they're an Elemental?" he whispered to himself in amusement. He decided to request to open a chat window with the person.
Grace was startled by the sudden request of a chat window. However, she calmed down the thumping in her heart and accepted the request -- wondering what WhenYouHaveNoLife wanted to say to her. "Hello :)" She messaged him.
Hey, he replied immediately. I'm surprised the World Champion commented on my forum, but miracles happen eh?
"So it's someone who knows me. Okay, you got me. My name's Grace and I'm the World Champion for France. But I don't know who you are." She replied, genuinely shocked that she had been figured out.
For now, call me Seokjin. It's as close as you'll get to my real name anyway, unless you feel like meeting up in person? Considering we're both on the Academy campus, I suppose it means something. You're a student, like me, aren't you?
"Well I don't see the harm in that. You're probably someone who I may have encountered before, but didn't talk to. Alright, I'm in Dorm 1. My room is the first one on the corridor."
Thanks. He closed the window after that last message and closed his laptop, slipping it into his messenger bag with a blank yet triumphant expression on his face. He left his dorm and trudged down the steps to the dorm Grace suggested and entered without knocking. "I'm here... Grace?"
Grace looked around and spotted Jack. "You're WhenYouHaveNoLife? I know you! You're Anneline's boyfriend."
His eyes widened slightly as he acknowledged the younger. "...The World Champion... Is my girlfriend's cousin?" He shifted to study her, tilting his head tauntingly before he snorted. "Who would've thought? You do a good job at hiding your talents and your secrets. Just, not from me."
"And I thought the Internet was supposed to be a vast place. Want to come in?" She chuckled. Her room was now back to its normal state, as Grace had hired an interior designer to deal with the mess that her half-brother had made. "I think there's a lot we need to discuss anyway."
"Indeed." He entered her room and glanced over it with little to no interest. "I like what you've done with the place. Pretty."
"Thank you." The room mainly consisted of gaming memorabilia, as well as books, drawings that she done, a picture of her with her mother, pictures of her with Caelum and Catalina and posters from over 100 games at least. Assassin's Creed posters appeared the most. The centerpiece of it all was Grace's World Championship trophy, complete with an engraving of her name and the French flag. "I had it redone after dealing with a certain...incident. Actually, I think that's what we need to discuss first."
"I was going to ask about it, sounded like I something might want to look into." He made his way over to her bed and sat down. "Explain."
Ring. Ring. Seojun stared at his phone blankly, expecting his half sister to pick up the phone. Gracie... he sang. ...Can I come visit?
Grace rolled her eyes at her phone suddenly ringing. "I'm sorry Jack, but I'm going to have to get this." She then picked up the phone. "Seojun, now's not a good time. Besides, you're banned from going anywhere near my room. If you want to speak to me, it'll have to be later in your room."
Put me on speaker Gracie. I want your friend to hear me too, he chuckled, holding the phone up to his ear. Speaking of that, can you tell Seung I say 'Hi'?
Grace turned a faint purple, mainly out of shock and fear. "I'll tell him for you. We'll talk later. Goodbye." She hung up on Seojun, before returning to her conversation with Jack. "A couple of weeks ago, I was speaking with Caelum in my room. I returned to Elementrium after the death of my father. That's when I discovered that I had a half-brother, a.k.a Seojun Edan. He traumatised me and destroyed my room, causing me to order an interior designer to re-do it. I'm lucky to have even been able to cover up the scorch marks that his powers left behind." She hoped that Jack would catch the aim of her telling him this information -- she wanted him to pass it on to Anneline.
He nodded, already getting what she wanted him to do halfway, he slipped his phone out to text Anneline but then decided against it. "I assume that was him calling you right now?"
"Yes. He knew that you were here with me. He wanted me to put him on speaker, so that he could say hi to you." She responded. "Here's where the next part comes in. I was kidnapped by Victoria not long ago, and made to join her Army. But I'm not a part of her Army. I'm going to infiltrate it, to help bring her downfall. Seojun claims to have similar goals to me, as he's also being made to work with Victoria. But I don't trust him. He makes me feel uncomfortable and scared, even though we've both been victims of our father."
"Can you... Call him again? So I can speak to him I mean. I usually have a good instinct on trusting people depending on their vocal tone."
"Sure. I just don't feel like talking to him." She then picked up her phone and called Seojun's number. When the phone was ringing, she handed it to Jack.
Hey Jackie~ Seojun whispered through the phone, his voice bone chilling. Seung could agree Seojun seemed disturbing, but what intrigued him, even more, was that Seojun knew he had requested to speak with him.
"Hello," Seung spoke back carefully.
Aw, don't be like that. I'm not going to hurt you...
A shiver found its way down Seung's spine. "You seemed to like playing games?"
Gracie's favorite type of game. Video games. I like your little flash game, it's an interesting concept and well done. May I use it for this?
You're so calm, I like it. But you're still scared of me, aren't you?
Can I ask you a question?
Do you trust me?
He stopped for awhile to think about what to say. The boy on the line was definitely disturbing and had a habit of twisting his words, but he seemed harmless as far as Jack could tell. There was no sense of malice in his voice, so he answered slowly, "Yes."
Grace wasn't afraid of Seojun, she was just afraid of the way he made her feel - uncomfortable. Her hair was irritating her, so she decided to put it in a braid, secured by a sword hairpin. Then she decided to change her outfit in the closet - changing into a black jacket that looked both Victorian and modern in style, a black T-shirt, pants that looked like leggings but were actually used for horse riding and black boots. She also wore a black onyx necklace that she borrowed from Anneline. She kept telling herself that she was not allowed to cry and that this "nightmare" would be over soon.
By the time Grace had come back from changing, Jack was finished with his call and sat on her bed deep in thought. He could piece some things together, and one of them happened to be: Grace's half brother knew his stuff. For a guy who's existence wasn't revealed until a month ago, he was good at catching up. Second, he seemed relatively harmless, at least to Jack. Despite the uncomfortable way he twisted his words, there was no sign of malice or ill intent in his words. "Well... He knows how to get himself through the digital universe," Jack sighed. "Basically, he can code and hack even better than I can."
"That's not good." Grace sighed. "I'm not afraid of him. After all, he is somewhat my brother. I just hate how uncomfortable he makes me feel." She revealed, opening up to Jack. "Our father did terrible things to us, but he claims that he had it worse. I can kind of see why, as I had some privileges." She then sat down. "Thank you for settling that for me Jack. I have a good idea of what I need to do next."
He glanced down at Grace curiously. "What are you going to do now? And is there any way I can help with that? No offense to Anneline, but you two don't really have the same thought process—you tend to be more logical half the time."
Grace tried not to chuckle. "Well, thank you for that compliment. It's a nice change from being called weak." Her tone then went serious. "Firstly, I need to go back to Monaco in a couple of weeks. I'm still resting from my recent trip to South Korea. With my father's death and me being the only legitimate child that he ever had, I'll receive the majority of his inheritance, including the mansion. Once I put the money into my bank account, I'll pretty much become the new Head of the Monégasque Edan branch. Then there are some people that I need to pay off. After that, I have to focus my attention on helping bring Victoria down. I'm currently being forced to serve in her Army, but since she considers me weak, I was designated a spot on her intelligence team within the Army. I can help give those opposing Victoria information on her actions and plans. Unfortunately, like I said, Seojun is also working with Victoria, but he is unpredictable. If I'm going to help the opposition out, I'm going to have to be elusive, otherwise I'm going to be forced into hiding."
He fidgeted with his fingerless gloves, shooting her a kindhearted grin. "Well, if you ever need anything Grace, especially dealing with... that brother of yours, I'll be willing to help. Alright?"
"Sure. My violin is in Monaco anyway, so I can pick it up when I go."
"Actually.... Speaking of going to Monaco. You wouldn't mind if I maybe, kind of, y'know, went with you?" he suggested. "I've never been to Monaco but I've always wanted to go. And I could help you, things could get done quicker."
"Great! I should tell you when I plan on flying out to Monaco." Grace proceeded to tell Jack her plans.
OOC: Timeskip and a new section?
Timeskip/Trip (3/11/17 - ????)
Jack was bouncing in his seat as he patiently waited, swiping through programs on his phone. Suddenly he received a call from his brother, to which he spoke Korean to. "Annyong Hyuk-ah!" he greeted his younger brother. He listened patiently for a few minutes before saying goodbye to Hyuk and looking up, searching for Grace for whom he was waiting for.
Grace walked through the airport, carrying a small briefcase. She had altered her appearance, her hair being in a hairstyle which she normally didn't sport; a ponytail. She wore casual clothes and the necklace that identified her as a member of the Edans, so she could remind the forgetful people who now worked for her (she'd need it). Each Edan had one. She continued to walk, trying to resist the urge to go into a nearby games shop as she needed to find Jack. When she finally found him, she walked up to him. "Bonjour Jack." She smiled.
Once he saw her, Jack gave a friendly little wave. "Bonjour Madame," he beamed, standing up. "How was the drive? You didn't get car sick, did you?" he questioned, just as pure conversation, although some part of him was worried about Grace's well being.
"No, no. I'm not one of those people." She laughed, lightheartedly. "I have a strong stomach." She then turned serious, in order to discuss the order of the day's events. "This airport seems to cater to several destinations on Earth. But then again, it is Elementrium. Our plane will take us to Nice, in France. Nice is one of the places that's closest to Monaco. I've taken another route before, from Ajaccio in Corsica, but I prefer the Nice route. I think there's still a bit of time left before we have to board."
He nodded in understanding. Jack honestly didn't have much to say, but it was obvious he was extremely excited for he couldn't stop fidgeting. He was tapping his foot and a weird inconsistent rate, and he kept playing with his gloves, re-positioning his glasses, and tugging at his bangs.
"I see you're excited?" She asked, being perceptive.
"Hm?" he glanced up at her. "Oh... Yeah, very excited. I've never ridden in a helicopter before. I imagine it's not that different from an airplane, just with less space and fewer passengers. And of course, no service, but they'll probably have snacks."
Grace met the pilot, and greeted him warmly in French. She told the pilot that they would not be taking the Nice plane today, and introduced him to Jack.
Jack watch them, a bit stumped for the first time in his life. He had never found a need to learn French so he didn't, although that didn't stop his brain from picking up a few sentences. He understood the main point of what they were saying, just not every word. Also, he really wanted to bow. It was hard to do away with Korean social customs that he'd gotten so used to doing, even now as an Academy student.
Grace strapped herself into her seat, and ordered for the driver to wait for Jack to strap himself in. "Are you okay? Just making sure." She asked him.
"Yeah, fine," he replied once he had finishing strapping himself in. His backpack, which had been sitting beside his legs, he reached to pick up and unzip to remove his laptop. "So, what's first on the agenda?"
"My inheritance." She bluntly responded. "I have to find out what my father has left for me in his will. As his only legitimate child, he has to include me in it, no matter how much he hated me."
"Alright..." He began typing at a rapid inhumane speed, scanning the various numbers, codes, and other things that appeared on the black screen in green variations. "Ah, found it!" he chimed. "Luckily people have digital forms of this stuff. Here, go ahead and read it."
"He's leaving 500 million Euros to me. 500 million. That would technically make me one of the richest teenagers in Elementrium by net worth. And not just that, I get the Edan mansion in Monaco. Wait, Seojun is included too."
He eyebrows gradually rose in shock, and his brown irises enlargened as well. "Wow... I'm shocked... Considering Seojun's background, I didn't really think he'd get anything. I guess Seth can be reasonable at times... He got a good 300 million Euros as well, and he seemed in inherit a mansion in the Fire Kingdom. He... also... inherited... an..." he leaned closer to read the text. "Apparently, it's a run down mini-palace located somewhere in Austria."
"From what I know, Austria is a very forest-occupied area. He's probably going to be living in his castle in the middle of the woods."
Jack laughed a little, "He's going to have to have a whole entire renovation of it then. Let me see if I can pull up an image somewhere using the satellite, if I'm correct, it probably hasn't been inhabited for decades."
Grace looked on the image on the tablet screen. It showed a, unsurprisingly, run-down castle. "Apparently, the name of this castle is Hohensalzburg Castle."
"Hey... it's pretty big. He has to invite us because honestly... this place looks humungous. Plus, it's in the middle of the woods. Pretty secretive." He took a longer look at the castle. "What do you think he'll do with it?"
Jack took back the laptop and began typing some more. "So, we know what you both inherited. Now we need to figure where that stuff is exactly. Seth might have been nice enough to give the both of you something but he probably wasn't the type to make it easy to obtain."
(OOC: Oh, I thought it was a tablet. My bad, lol. Also, Grace knows where the mansion is since it's the home that she's lived in.)
"I don't know. Maybe some might actually be loyal to me, but a lot of them thought that with what was going on, I wouldn't even survive to become the head of the Monaco branch. They considered me too weak. I guess I'll have to differentiate between the loyal and the disloyal when I arrive." She looked out of the helicopter window. "We should almost be there now. There's the Prince's Palace."
Jack leaned to glance out the window, looking down at Monaco with amazement. "It's a beautiful country, really," he stated enthusiastically.
"Wanna know something interesting? A lot of the people I had to meet as a kid were millionaires and billionaires. I grew up surrounded by them. Had several houses around the world. America, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Australia, South Africa, Portugal, Britain, you name it."
Jack gasped enthusiastically, whispering some words in his native tongue under his breath excitedly. "Will we meet them here?" he asked, switching back to English.
"How about a messenger app? A secret one? That only one of us can give to another person," Seung exclaimed. "I've been working with encrypted code for some time now and it would be a great defense against anyone who tries to decrypt our messages."