Azure Skies

1 Vibrant Spring


“Love is usually a matter of circumstance…”

– Charles Kristoffer Calimbahin



“Hey!!! Wake up!!!”
“Wake up!!!”

Lionel stretched and let out a long yawn. He scratched his eyes and focused his vision. Groggy and disoriented, Lionel hadn’t a clue on what was happening. His chestnut brown hair was a bit messy but he managed to make it look acceptable.

“Come on… Get yer camera, we’re leaving!” someone shouted.
Lionel nodded, “Okay, Okay.”

Lionel had fallen asleep again on press work. He never really could stay awake during work hours. Life had been quite harsh ever since he left home. All he had, he left back at Alcross City as well as the life he once led. There wasn’t much for him to come back to anyway. Not his family, not his friends and certainly not love.

But this didn’t matter to him anymore. He was determined to make a new life, a life of his own. With camera in hand, Lionel got up from his chair and left for the Kanagawa Arcade to cover one of the biggest fashion tours this month. As he left the office, he almost bumped into a pale, young lass who was in a rush to bring coffee to the editor. His vision then turned to a model getting ready for the fashion show. What caught his eye was her rather empty smile. His partner called his attention as he almost walked into the wall.

Lionel stepped into the elevator and left.


Xianny almost tripped as she held the Starbucks cup, rushing towards Studio 1. Oh my God… I took so long!! Gentrude will kill me!!! Xianny thought as she cautiously opened the door to the studio.

“ABOUT TIME!! Xianny really, your flat ass is starting to become useless every minute…” Gentrude, Cover’s fashion editor snatched the cup from Xianny’s trembling hands.

Xianny waited intently for Gentrude’s reaction.

Gentrude sputtered the coffee all over the place.

“What is this?! POISON?!?! I asked for an ‘Iced Grande unsweetened half-decaf light foam coffee!!! And what’s this?!?!” you could almost see smoke coming out of Gentrude’s ears.

Xianny bowed down profusely. “Gomen nasai Gentrude-sama… Please… I… give me another chance….” Xianny’s glasses were sliding down the bridge of her nose as she bowed continuously.

“Nevermind Xianny. You’re just an intern. It’s natural that you’re all stupid right now. Just, clean this up and fer chrissakes, buy some tanning lotion!! You look almost like an albino with that pale skin!!” Gentrude rolled her eyes and turned her gaze back to the model.

Xianny bowed down again and went out of Studio 1. She sighed and took a quick peek at the model. You could almost see the glitter in her eyes upon watching them do their job.

Sure, being an intern, you’re just a doormat in Cover but for Xianny, just being in the building is worth it.


Yuumiko Hanazawa woke up on the wrong side of the bed. She didn’t even yawn and instead, she just stood up and went straight to the shower. Emotion was not apparent in her that morning when she remembered that she had an appointment at Cover. It was just going to be another boring day to her.

“Good morning, Ms.Xianny. How are you today?” Yuumiko asked with a big smile on her face.

“I’m fine. I just got sent out of Gentrude-sama’s office again though.” Xianny said.

“Don’t worry Ms.Xianny, soon they will realize your worth here in the company. Look at me, I’m not making good money here, ‘cause I’m not that popular at all. But at least, I’m still trying to struggle with the other models here even they are more famous than me.”

Yuumiko looked at the other models then to Xianny, “To tell you the truth, I do envy you a lot. You’re my role model because no matter what happens you never give up. You’re as hard as a rock, but me, I gave up once.”

“But then one guy stood up and told me that I shouldn’t. I really do appreciate that he helped me a lot. Ms.Xianny, please don’t give up. You’re my role model and the only real friend I can see here.” Yuumiko finished sincerely.

“Don’t worry. I will never give up, okay? No matter how what happens. I’ll even try to help you become famous someday.” Xianny responded with a determined smile on her face. Yuumiko laughed a bit then smiled.

“I don’t need to be famous. I just want to be able to make enough money to feed myself and maybe lead a normal life. Well, while I’m wishing, I’d also like to meet that guy again.” Yuumiko blushed. But before they could finish their conversation, one of the staff members called out for Yuumiko.

She walked away, waving to Xianny. On the way, she saw a glimpse of the man who helped her. A smile fell upon her again; this time of a different kind.


A beautiful day glistened above New Reed City. The sky was a clear blue with puffs of clouds hovering over the bustling city. However, those living in the Lovelle District weren’t as entitled to the cheery mood of most people on that kind of day. Though named as the Lovelle District, it was more commonly known as the Lovelle Slums; the darker shade of New Reed.

“Man! It’s another boring day at the city. I might as well check out the computer shop at the corner.”

As usual, Rieja Lighthammer didn’t bother attending his classes that day. He figured he’d just get into a fight there anyway. After all, what would one of the most well-known delinquents of New Reed University be doing at school? It wasn’t that he really enjoyed locking horns with the other guys at school, it was just that people always tested his patience. So instead, he went to the computer shop to play the hottest online RPG in the market. What could go wrong?

“Hey kiddo.” said Blanch, a long-time rival.

Blanch stood at medium height with a seemingly scrawny but tough build. His hair was unkempt and was dusty to boot. His clothes looked like they hadn’t been washed in over a week. It was surprising that he was actually able to enter the shop without causing a ruckus.

Rieja glared at him, “What do you want? Are you here to fight again?”
“No, no, no.” Blanch shook his head, “I’m here because I want to make a deal with you.”
“Talk.” said Rieja.
“You gotta come with me first and I’ll show ya what I have in mind.”

An alarm clock buzzed incessantly to the dismay of a Corey Rivera. It read 7:48am.

“Uhn… Is it morning already?! I haven’t got any sleep yet. Let me have some more!” Corey groaned while stretching his arm to knock off the alarm clock. His arm flailed helplessly as he tried when Daisuke entered through the door.

“Hey sleepy head! Wake up! You’re late for school!” He shouted at Corey who in response hid under his pillow. The alarm clock still buzzed.

“Uhn… Haven’t got enough sleep… Five more minutes!” He mumbled.

“Heh! It’s not my fault if you’re absent today! By the way, a package for you was delivered 10 minutes ago. I signed the papers and it’s only in living room. Well, I’m off to work!”

Corey tossed the pillow as Daisuke as he stepped out, “Work?!”

“Yeah, I have work today. I’m a clerk, remember? So long then.” Daisuke bade farewell with a wave of his hand and stepped out of the room.

“Uhn… Gotta get up.” Corey tried to jump onto his feet while lying down but failed… miserably. He found himself aching on the floor, “Shoot! Never ever gonna do that again.”

Corey got up and dragged himself to the shower and bathed. After the bath, he grit his teeth at what he didn’t find.

“Tsk! He didn’t even leave me food! He didn’t bother cleaning up either. That bastard!”

Corey set aside some of the dishes while he cooked something to eat. He turned on the TV and frowned at the lack of quality programs. The news didn’t help either with a report about a frat war casualty. In the end, Corey just turned it off and played heavy metal music on the CD player. He couldn’t help but sing along when a call came. Corey frantically lowered the music and picked up the phone.

“Good morning. Corey speaking? Who’s this?” he asked.

“Corey! It’s me Daisuke!!”

“What do you want?! You left me without food and you didn’t–” Daisuke cut off Corey before he could finish ranting.

“Hey, I’m sorry bout that! Hey, stay out of the Nishikawa Highway. You’ll be late for sure if you go in that area.”

“Why?!” Corey switched to speaker phone as he finished his breakfast.

“Stupid frat guys caused a bus to collide with another bus. Burn those shits to hell!!”

“Awright… Hey! You owe me one breakfast! And the package’s in my room now. Thanks. By the way, did you bring the spare key?”

“Yeah. But don’t worry, after my work I’ll be back home for sure! So, gotta go!”

Daisuke hung up.

Corey dashed out as soon as he finished and quickly greeted the landlady Hibana on his way out. He couldn’t help it since she was pretty hot for a woman of her age and status. She was young, childless widow whose husband died in an accident. Hibana curtly returned the good morning as Corey ran off to his shortcut. However, he was easily side-tracked the newest issue of Cover caught his eye.

After making his purchase, he barely made it to the closing of the campus gate.

“HOME BASE!!!” He shouted as he entered the school.

“Mr.Rivera. It seems to me you’re just in time.” A woman approached Corey.

Corey greeted his homeroom adviser. “Oh! Good morning, Ms. Awayuki.”

“Have you studied for our exam today?” She asked with an arched brow. Corey smiled back confidently, “Of course!”

“I expect good results then. Let’s go. Time’s a wasting.”


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