Forty years ago, he was known as Ji Hyeon-Jin, the boy who was left at the doorstep of a Japanese orphanage and the constant companion of Reika Matou whom he had grown to love. He was a son of Hades who ran away from the only home he knows because he wanted to follow Reika and her dreams. He was the disillusioned boy who met his end at the hands of the one person he poured all his love, trust and devotion to.
Now, he's Shade, the spirit of the Atropa belladonna, blessed with a second chance at life by none other than the Queen of the Underworld Persephone herself. He is but a mere shadow of his former mortal self who, despite his dream of arriving at Camp being fulfilled, is hellbent on avenging himself and closing his heart to the rest of the world.
The person that you’d take a bullet for
is behind the trigger
“Thousands of cherry blossoms dwindling in the light.
Though I can't hear your voice, keep what I say in mind -
This bouquet that surrounds is iron poison, see,
Looking down at us from that big guillotine.”
He was a mistake.
For all he was worth as the father of her child, he was a mistake. Looking down at the bundle in her arms, she cries. The sky cries with her as well. It was too soon, far too soon. She was too young, too incapable to care for a baby, much less herself. This was her only choice. Raising her head to the sky, she prays. Not to the man who fathered her child but to anyone who was willing to listen and to help. She prays that whatever path her child may go, he would have someone he could rely on, someone he could trust, someone who could be in her place.
With one last kiss to her sleeping child's forehead, one that would convey all her love and her apologies for him, she sets him down in the basket, making sure he's tucked in warmly. With that, she turns and vanishes into the night.
Unbeknownst to her, her prayer was answered in the form of a small three year old child, hidden behind the matriarch's leg as the woman picks up the baby, her eyes filled with curiosity.
Forty years ago, they were two.
Reika was all he had. He doesn't remember his mother nor his father, he doesn't remember a home. The orphanage was never a home, not after the kindly matriarch passed away and was replaced by a monster. He was 5 when all semblances of a proper childhood was taken from him. Reika was truly all he had. For as long as he can remember, it was always Reika by his side. So after 15 years in the orphanage and with no hope of ever finding a family that would want them, she expressed the want to escape the orphanage and venture out into the world, he was quick to follow. Reika was all he had and therefore she was all he needed. Damn him if he ever thought of letting her go all by herself.
It was hard living by themselves, moving from place to place, trying to figure out how to survive for another day but he wasn't worried. He had Reika with him, that was all that matters. When winged bird ladies, murderous pigeons, giant ants started to attack them more often, Reika had protected him. What puzzled him the most, other than the fact that they were apparently being hunted down, was how Reika's prized bronze hairpin had turned into a full on war scythe.
He trusts Reika with everything, even his life, so when she starts to claim that the mythological gods of Ancient Greece were real, that she was a daughter of Persephone herself, that the hairpin was one of a set that her mother had given her when she was born, he believes her. The creatures were enough proof anyway and Reika would never lie to him. He asks her to train him so Reika won't be all alone when she fights them, so she gives him her other hairpin that turns into a bardiche.
Since he now knows the truth about the Greek gods and their progeny, Reika starts to teach him about Camp Half-Blood, how she has never been there but the deceased kindly matriarch had told her about it. It turns out, the matriarch was like them, she was a daughter of Apollo and a former camper. She trained Reika whenever she can and taught her everything she knew. The matriarch wanted to teach him as well since she figured out that he, too, was a demigod. A son of Hades, at that. Unfortunately, she died before he reached the proper age and Reika was given the task of training him instead.
“So that time when I almost melted into the shadows... That wasn't a dream?”
“No, it wasn't.”
Reika revealed another thing: She didn't run away from the orphanage because no one wanted to adopt her, she wanted to leave so she could go to Camp and she wanted to bring him with her. He didn't care that she basically lied in a sense because wherever Reika goes, he goes as well. He thinks he'll like Camp since it sounds like a nice place, especially if the mention of it makes Reika smile that warm smile that makes his heart warm too.
Unfortunately, they never made it.
He doesn't remember where it was or when it exactly happened but he and Reika were taking a rest at a small ghost town that looks like it wasn't in any map at all. Unbeknownst to him, there was a reason the town was deserted, something only Reika knows. In their first few days there, Reika began to act strangely, going out on her own for long periods of time and instructing him to stay in their camp whenever she does. He didn't question it at first, his undying devotion and trust on Reika telling him to, well, trust Reika because she's probably doing this for his own good.
But then he starts getting suspicious. More than once, he had spotted her talking to a group of people, looking less like the Reika he knows and more like a dangerous stranger. A new-found feeling of fear settled itself in his gut as his instincts told him to book it and run away before anything bad happens. Reika did tell him that they were close to Camp already. Before he was able to do so, he was caught by Reika herself, flanked by two of the people he saw with her not a few nights before.
It turns out, Reika and the matriarch of the orphanage were part of a group that were trying to figure out the secrets of mythical creatures through science. Reika explains how she and her group were hunting down mythical creatures to gather blood samples from in order to see if they could use them to power up demigods and that the ghost town was their headquarters. She wanted to recruit him, citing that a child of the Big Three would be a wonderful addition to their numbers, that she could make him more powerful than he could imagine, using his own words against him.
“After all, you said you wanted to be the most powerful so you could protect me, didn't you, my dear Jin?”
He knows this isn't the Reika he knows, so he refuses. Reika tries to convince him once more, growing more desperate after each reason she voices out. He remains strong in his opposition despite having a lycanthrope closing in against him and several weapons being pointed at him. With the hopelessness of the situation, he knows he'd die right then and there but he doesn't care. He'd rather die than join some shady group. Reika had promised to bring him to Camp, not this... whatever this was.
So he tells her, hoping that maybe, just maybe, the Reika he knew and grew up with was still there beneath the monster standing in front of him. He pleads, he begs, he tries to remind her of the reason why they kept on going despite those times they were close to death. He holds on to the hope, no matter how flimsy it was. But the moment Reika's eyes turned cold and her back was turned to face him, he felt a stab of betrayal.
The moment she ordered for his death, all of his love, devotion and trust for her withered away, leaving a deep scar made of betrayal and hate in its wake. The last thing he ever wished for before he felt his head getting ripped away from his body was for Reika and everyone she's with to feel the pain he did at that moment.
Perhaps Persephone wanted to apologise for her daughter's unrighteous actions against him because as his blood splattered on a nearby nightshade plant, she began the process in turning him into a spirit tied to that plant.
For a moment, there was nothing. He thought he really was dead, until a woman's voice spoke out to him. He didn't understand what she was saying but he wanted to live again. He wanted to avenge himself, that he can't rest until he made them feel the pain he felt when they killed him. The woman spoke to him again, this time her words were discernible. She explains that she can grant him what he wished for, but he'd lose all the powers he'd had as a son of Hades. He'll be turned into a nightshade spirit, his life force would be tied to a nightshade plant, where he goes, it goes as well. If it does, he dies as well, this time for good. He's desperate, so he agrees.
Silence ensued, then he felt like something was pulling him towards the light. And then he wakes up right in the place where he was killed, head and body reconnected and bathed in his own blood. Reika and her companions were nowhere to be seen, but he recalls that this place was their headquarters. Then he gets to work, looking for their camp. When he finds it, he was just in time as they were going out again. He poisons their water source, their food, their sleeping area... Then he waits.
He watches in the shadows as they die one by one, all except for Reika who never came back. All he got to get from her was her war scythe. It makes him wonder why she left her primary weapon behind but that's fine by him. After all, he has an eternity. So after potting his nightshade and tucking his two hairpins in his hair, he goes on his hunt.
Forty years later, he hasn't found Reika but he did find camp by following a group of demigods and that's the next best thing he could ever think of.
+ soft voiced
+ well-trained in battle
+ childishly curious
- 'an eye for an eye' mindset
- cautious of everyone
- temporal fish out of water
In the Language of Flowers, deadly nightshade means silence. Maybe that's why Shade is very silent, silent enough to be mistaken for someone who is mute. Even in his movements, Shade barely makes any sound. His voice is soft and quiet, always level and never raising to a shout even in his angriest moments. Despite that, he is, by no means, a gentle creature. He has no problem cutting through someone, literally and figuratively, if he has to. Shade's extremely protective of the few he holds close to his heart and won't hesitate to avenge them once he knows they were wronged, something that was upped to the extreme when he was just resurrected.
The survival instincts drilled into him by Reika never really left him even after death and resurrection. He's light and quick on his feet, a product of his months spent on the run, always keeping an eye open for anything that might be a danger to his and Reika's lives. He's always wary of his surroundings, he never lets himself trust anyone (since it's the reason why he lost his life in the first place) and it's hard to get him to let loose and just relax, it's basically a foreign concept for him since literally his entire mortal life was spent trying to keep himself alive.
There are times when Shade displays a sort of childish wonder, especially at modern concepts. He is easily impressed by modern technology and other things that had been invented/become famous post-1970s. Shade is evidently curious about them but he keeps this to himself, he doesn't want to appear weak anyhow.
In short: silent, soft but sharp, protective, 'an eye for an eye' mindset, survivor, temporal fish out of water.
They the ability to create a massive wall of flowers, roughly two to three times the size of the user, as a shield, although will instantly begin to die away following its creation.
They can turn inanimate objects into a flowers for a short time, this can be used for a multitude of purposes. The larger the object the more draining it is, they have the most power over the type of flower that their life force is connected to
They have the ability to shoot multiple thorns out from their hands which can inflict pain on their opponents and distract them.
They have the innate ability to talk flowers to life, either making them grow more quickly or bringing them back from a recent death, they have the most power over the type of flower that their life force is connected to
They Can create flowers from nothing, the larger the flower the more drain on the user, they have the strongest control over the type of flower that their life force is connected to
As they are nymphs they do not age, remaining eternally young.
They have a telepathic/empathetic connection with nature and other nymphs
Their life force is attached to a flower, the further they go from it, the weaker they get, eventually if they go too far they'll die, in some cases, depending on the size of their life source, it can be potted for transport to a new location
Depending on the type of flower their life force is attached to, they retain minor characteristics of the flower.
They have the ability to transform people into large flowers of their choosing; this effect does not last long, they have the most power over the type of flower that their life force is connected to
They have the ability to turn into the flower that their life force is attached to
They are excellent gardeners.
They are generally happier in the spring and summer months, and more solemn/melancholy in the fall and winter months.
They usually smell of whatever flower they are attached to