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Améa Nedvidek

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Narragyambie Guest
25* year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Safely deposited in her bed, Améa found that even her intense exhaustion would not allow her to sleep. They had tried to be quiet on their way in, to not wake the other occupants of the house (though both Mea and Stu were certain that they were awake anyway, it still didn't seem polite to rouse them fully at this hour), finding Lauren a spare bed before heading off to grab what few hours of sleep remained before morning. Tomorrow would be difficult, and Améa didn't envy Stuart's task. It was difficult enough to comprehend that Lauren was alive knowing the curious nature of their family, Lauren's father would be blindsided by this news.

It would be good for the girl, she hoped. There was a clear need for a stable life, and while Améa wasn't an massive fan of Alan even she could admit that he was reliable in that sense.

She lay in her bed, waiting for sleep to come.  How could she possibly be this tired, and still unable to rest? The events of the night had left her thinking, worried for what would come next. Améa chewed the inside of her lip, shifting restlessly. The darkness seemed so much more complete tonight. Sollozzo had made his move, and it would not end here. They were fools to think that it had been over. Quietly she sat up, and listened to the still of the house. Every small sound made her twitch, fed into the growing paranoia that Sollozzo would come here.

That he would do something to harm Stuart or Mary. Or the animals. A lump grew in her throat, and she found herself on her feet. Awkward in a body she was no longer used to, she clicked the door open and padded past Lauren's sleeping form, down the hall to another door. Both hands and a cheek pressed to the solid wood, she knocked as quietly as she could.

"Vladimir," she whispered. "Are you waking? Is it allowed that I come in?"

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Melbourne ☆ Master Cellist/Conductor of the MSOSanctusX
28 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ He/Him

Vladimir had woken in the night to a strange sensation floating through his mind. There was what seemed to be a shockwave, and then silence. Honing in his senses, he realized something alarming.

Améa was not in the building.

He shot up in bed and tried to hone in his senses even more so. Every since that fateful day in August, Vladimir had had more of a connection with Améa, able to sense her location almost exactly, much as he was able to with his own flesh and blood family. Vladimir sat on the edge of the bed now, his brow furrowed and face contemplative in the security that the closed bedroom door provided him.

He did not sense danger, but something was more certainly wrong. And yet, there were no cries. Were something wrong, the man was certain there would have been word sent, by Améa, Stuart, Jezebel, even Adele.

So Vladimir sat, and waited, until he fell into a slight doze.

He was awoken once again when he sensed more being in the home, and was in the process of rising from bed when he heard the knock at his door, and a voice calling for his attention. As he threw a cotton shirt on over his naked chest, and pulled on a pair of cotton pyjama bottoms, he could tell that there was something amiss. For one, Améa’s voice sounded distinctly different. “I am awake,” he informed her, before approaching the door and opening it to find the woman standing there. Red eyes blinked - Améa was back to her adult size.

Améa, what has happened?” He questioned simply, before guiding her into the room and closing the door behind him. That was the best place to begin, and wasting words asking questions before it was time to do so would not help matters. The only other question that came immediately to his lips was, "Are you all right?"

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Narragyambie Guest
25* year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"Many things is did happen, dear Vladimir," Améa shook her head at the enormity of it all, pacing around the room on tired feet as Vladimir closed the door behind them and the room fell into a half-dark. Exhausted though she was, and clearly drained of most her reserves, she still looked a sight better than she had the last she had inhabited this body. Her hair glossy, shifting around her in waves of long black that sat straight and refused to tangle. Her skin pale but alive, her eyes vibrant even in the dark. 

"Lorelei is wake, Alexander is to be father with twins, Lauren not is dead but sleeping in couch in house here, but---" Améa let the thoughts tumble out of her mouth before she managed to catch up, pause, this was a lot to process. At the very least, she could give Vladimir a logical account of all that had taken place over the last few hours. "It is best maybe that I am starting from start, yes?"

And so she began to recount the tale: of how she had woken to the reverberation of Adele's pain and the rushed journey to investigate. The news that Sollozzo had struck, Lorelei's return, Lauren's revelation, Alexander's news. No matter how she tried to tie the events together, it all ran into the same jumbled mess of confusion that it had been to experience. Still pacing restlessly, her hands moved in agitated worry as she tried to seek a rhyme or reason to any of it.

"Mamiere is in very much pain, but not I think in danger of foolish act," she finished with a tired sigh. And this had been her major concern initially. Once it had become clear it was David who had come to harm, Améa had been less bothered by the immediate tragedy and more worried about what it meant. She'd never been that attached to David. Rather, she felt relief that it was him and not someone else she cared more about. "All are physical well, but there is... much for being sorted now."

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Melbourne ☆ Master Cellist/Conductor of the MSOSanctusX
28 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ He/Him

Vladimir was silent, his ears trained on Améa’s words, and his eyes on her person. He could see it, and feel it, that she was exhausted. And yet there was a radiance that caught his attention clearly in the half-dark ambience of the room. Everything about her at that moment was… beautiful.

No. Fool. Now was not the time for such thoughts. No, even worse. It was never the time - she was still married to that cretin, for all intents and purposes.

And yet, he could not help the pang that he felt. Damn.

Thankfully the rest of what Améa was saying was pushing all of that to the back of his mind. Lorelei was awake - Viktor, Jezebel, and the triplets would be thrilled beyond belief. Alexander to be a father - certainly a happy occasion. The more shocking statement was that Lauren was alive, but Vladimir knew better than to interrupt. Améa spoke again, and the man merely nodded. Yes, to start at the beginning was best.

The moment Vladimir heard that Sollozzo had struck, he could feel the hairs on the back of his neck stand, an anger seethe deep below the surface of his stoic expression. It was all a terrible amount to process, especially where Lauren was concerned. Vladimir remembered clearly the news that the baby had perished; that she was Flora… well. That could be digested later. For now, his eyes trained on Améa’s as they moved and wrung themselves in clear worry. He reached out and took her hands in his to pause them. To Vladimir, hands and touch had a purpose; to wring them about in worry only wasted energy.

Another thought, just then - with Améa returned to her true size, and her powers able to return, would he even be a necessity anymore. His role of protector of the battery was null and void now, but he had promised to protect her regardless. He hoped she would still feel similarly.

Indeed there is much to be sorted,” he mused quietly. “First, we see what can be feasibly done in the immediate future. Then, we plan for what is to come.” Sollozzo was still a threat to them all. “You have me at your disposal, of course. I shall see to it that I aid you and your family to the end.

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Narragyambie Guest
25* year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Clasped by his, her hands stilled and her pacing stopped. When she looked up, the uncharacteristic level of emotion was plain on her features. Améa was overwhelmed, confused, at a loss for what to do next and worried that the next terrible thing would happen before she had a chance to figure it out. The gentle touch was enough to remind her of where she was, bring her back down to the surface where she could assess the next move---rather than drifting from possibility to possibility in aimless confusion.

The stillness allowed her to breathe, as well. Catch herself. An emotional reaction never came with enough logic to make it worthwhile, she needed to step back. Start again as she had with her words. There would be something they could do, some way this could be fixed and her family protected. All of her family. She knew the house was well guarded, and Stuart had his own posse of protectors (when he wasn't deliberately trying to avoid them), but even so. Améa knew that if anything happened to him or to Mary, her heart would break as surely and thoroughly as her mother's had tonight.

And Vladimir was another matter, another she felt protective of but not in the same way. He was strong, and most likely didn't need her physical protection---though she would give it without question. Were Vladimir in trouble, she imagined, it would be less a case of her rushing to his aid than it would be confronting the issue as a team. And it was this feeling she had that meant she'd not considered that he might wish to return to his previous life once she was back to herself.

Only once he confirmed that he was willing to stand with her, did she realise she had taken that for granted. That she couldn't imagine, didn't want to imagine, facing nights like this without his guidance. So certain was this need, this partnership that she felt, she hadn't even been able to wait until morning to discuss the night's events. The feeling was... odd. It caught her by surprise to realise how strong that bond had become. Améa, who had always been a solitary creature, no longer content to go it alone.

"I would be grateful for you at my side," she acknowledged, managing a half-smile. "No longer am I your duty, but there is none other I should trust so much in difficult times."

Améa didn't really want anything to change, now that she was in her adult form. Even if she wasn't as vulnerable, the days would be bleak and empty without Vladimir present. She had spent much time in his company, listening to his music, and occasionally talking about things that were true and things that were important. Most of the time it was simply a silent presence that she found calming as they went about daily business. 

But, as for what to do now? There was no easy answer.

"Grandmiere insisted we must rest," she frowned. "But I cannot. It feels not safe. What else is can happen while eyes close and dreams dream?"

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Melbourne ☆ Master Cellist/Conductor of the MSOSanctusX
28 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ He/Him

The emotion that was visible on Améa’s face was unprecedented, but with the events of that night, he could understand. For his part, his face remained as smooth and expressionless as it usually was, though inwardly his brain was roiling through a million different scenarios. Sollozzo was a dangerous man. Zane was still out there. Constant vigilance was of utmost importance, and much as Vladimir had spoken before, failure was not an option.

Especially now - the were no sense in denying it. If any harm came to Améa, he did not think he could forgive himself.

And right now, Vladimir’s ears were trained on her response. If she replied in the affirmative, if she replied that she wanted him to be at her side, then he could live with that. He would keep everything else bottled away, not wanting to get in the way of whatever feelings Améa might still habour for that cretin. He knew he should not be allowing his emotions to turn in this way, but he could not deny that his attachment to Améa was becoming more than solely a protector.

The fact that Améa was smiling at him, and wanting him to be at her side in these circumstances buoyed a small smile of his own to his lips. “This is no longer a duty in that sense. I wish to help because I want to. My duty to protect you as a battery is no longer valid, but… I will protect you to the end.

As for rest… The woman was not wrong. Rest would be imperative to regain their strengths, but he could also understand where Améa was coming from. Vladimir’s expression changed to contemplation as he mused aloud, “If everyone is with their own protections, then if not sleep, sitting is a good place to begin. Come.”

Vladimir lead the woman to the edge of his bed, indicating that she sit, whilst he brought over the chair from the corner of the room to sit in front of Améa.

We may attempt to plan. Or, I may play the cello. I need not anymore sleep this night, if you wish to sleep, I can keep watch and an ear around the home."

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Narragyambie Guest
25* year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

The smile was unexpected. Améa was certain that she must have seen him smile at some point, some time, some where in her life. She didn't remember it being quite like this though, and coupled with his emphatic reassurance that he wanted to be there made her chest swell and her heart catch with a happiness that defied all logic on such a terrible night. Her exhausted body was larger, heavier than she had become used to---but all the same she felt so light she could barely feel her feet touch the ground as he guided her across the room to sit on the edge of his bed.

"I do always love for hearing you play, but others yet rest in this house this night. After morning is break, know well that I will ask," she returned with a wider smile. Améa worried that the others would hear his music, and become so distracted by the beauty of it they would forget to sleep. It was something that would be true at least of herself, yet her motivations ran deeper still. Here sat before her was a Vladimir more open and expressive than she had ever known. If that vanished with the morning light, Améa intended to make this moment last as long as she could.

"Will you instead tell me of yourself?" she asked, the question so innocent. Though she knew him well enough to consider him family, and though they had spent the last months in almost constant company, she had never had the chance to know Vladimir from his own perspective. How did it differ from what she saw? She paused momentarily before continuing. She wanted to know things. Difficult things, sad things. Painful things. Not just the facts, but the feelings too. "I think first time is I ever see real smile on you," Améa's voice was soft, she didn't want to scare the smile away.

"There is hurt that stops your smile, yes? Will you tell me?" she wanted to know. She wanted to know what had bruised him so she could make sure it never happened again. So she could find a way to bring his smile out more often. But most of all, she wanted to know Vladimir. 

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Melbourne ☆ Master Cellist/Conductor of the MSOSanctusX
28 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ He/Him

The moment Améa asked him to speak of himself, Vladimir was truthfully at a loss for words. He did not know what to say to that, and even less when she remarked about his smile. He had to think long and hard on that - when was the last time he had smiled a true and genuine smile, not only in Améa's company, but in general? The triplets and Lorelei always brought him joy, and time spent with his sisters was always lovely. But too long had the man gone without truly enjoying the world around him. 

If he kept himself walled in, then nothing could hurt him again. And yet... here he was contemplating Améa's request.

A hurt that stops your smile. Vladimir's expression remained contemplative even as that sentence struck him through to the core. All this time since he had gone away, not speaking of it spared people of his feelings. It spared him the agony of letting people in and possibly having his heart torn asunder once again because of a blood he had no control over. He had no control over the fact that he would never show his true age. He had no control over his ability to live for centuries onward. And yet, his mind told him he could take the chance and trust Améa with his past.

"I was always quiet, and never prone to expressing myself very much," he told her softly, his eyes taking on a dull hue, not seeing Améa in front of him but instead seeing his past flashing before his eyes. "But one loses the will to smile when the person you held dear for so long vanishes in the night. Because of blood that I cannot control. Because I am a monster.

He could still remember some of the words and phrases used. They had stayed with him, locked away, and let out now to better explain. "I loved her with everything that I had. I made music for her, composed songs to encompass everything, and all for naught... What will is there to smile when the craft you have perfected is essentially spat upon?" And now it seemed that once Vladimir began, he simply could not stop the words as they poured out of him. "All I wanted was for her to be happy. I did everything that I was capable of, and all it brought me was despair. My need for blood became a bother. My lack of physically aging would become apparent. And what cut to the core was that she did not want children that-

He sucked in a breath just then. "She did not wish to see children born with a lineage of vampiric blood, not after what she had seen of it. She did not want a monster's child. And then she was gone, and when given the chance to perform with one of the best orchestras in the world... if it meant escaping the hurt, then so it would be done."

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Narragyambie Guest
25* year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"Monster?" Améa said the word with such disgust, inhaling sharply in a sudden moment of fury. "She did call of you a monster?"

This was unacceptable. The anger flashed through her eyes, the air around her. Like the moment just before a crack of lightning, Améa was more than merely shocked. She was offended on Vladimir's behalf. Had she the strength, she might have left to find this terrible woman and teach her what a monster truly was. How could anyone dare to call Vladimir a monster? And for what, an aspect of himself that was decided before he ever had the chance to shape who he would be?

"She is not deserve of your music," she said angrily. "Monster is not what we born, monster is what our choices do make us. She see only blood, then she is monster." the words hissed between her teeth. No wonder he struggled to smile, if he was made to feel this way. Améa tried to shed the anger from herself, to get back to a more rational frame of mind. Vladimir had opened wounds at her request, and she could do better than to show only anger in return.

"You are very far from monster, dear Vladimir," she said quietly. "Monsters I do know. You are good and you are loyal. A monster would not wait permission before feeding of blood, but only take with force. But..." an unusually playful smile teased at the corner of her lips. "If she was to be right, that a monster is nothing but frightening blood, then we are both monster. And we may be monster together!" 

Which sounded fun to Améa, in an odd sort of way. After all, if you were going to be at the lowest and most terrible rung of society, wasn't it better to have company to enjoy it? They could terrorise villagers and retreat into the mountains. 

"If ever she try hurt you again, dear Vladimir, I will find," she added with a conspiratorial nod. "And then she will know what monster is."

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Melbourne ☆ Master Cellist/Conductor of the MSOSanctusX
28 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ He/Him

Truthfully, Vladimir was not expecting Améa to show such vehemence when he revealed the words that had stuck with him for so many years. Adjectives that had been placed upon him, and he feeling guilt enough to believe them for a time. Time had healed part of that wound, and though he did not allow the thoughts of truly being a monster to fester, it did lie below the surface, waiting to be brought back up again. All he could do was nod at Améa, curious that she should seem so offended on his behalf.

And the more Améa spoke, the more the man leaned forward in his seat, head bowed for a time as he considered her words carefully. Yes, what she said was certainly true. A monster in the truest sense of the word would take what it wanted without any consideration for others, and it was indeed the complete opposite of how he functioned. Good Lord, he had been craving blood for months and months and even when Améa had made her offer those months ago, he had still questioned it.

His head rose sharply at her next statement, a curious look in his eyes as he saw what he would consider a playful smile encroaching on her lips.

Was... was Améa trying to engage in flirtatious banter with him? 

Part of him welcomed it practically immediately and without question. Another, smaller part of him, was telling him that this was wrong. She was still married, and this was not appropriate of him. But then, the welcoming part proclaimed, that cretin was most certainly not good enough for her, or for little Veronika, in Vladimir's opinion. Despite all of those thoughts, the mere suggestion that they could remain together in unity was... surprisingly welcome. "I would accept your company without a moment's hesitation," Vladimir expressed, reaching across the space between them to place a hand on top of Améa's.

"Thank you," he murmured, and attempted to buoy another smile back onto his face. It seemed whenever he did so, it produced a positive response in Améa, and if he could see that more often, he would gladly indulge. "But there are other things in my life besides such. The scars on my chest from Igor's mistaken attack... the joy of spending time with Lorelei, the triplets, Anastasia and Viktoriya... There has been more good than bad, but the latter is etched in the mind just as clearly."

Speaking of the triplets, however... "Veronika has always been closest to me of the three of them. Part of me wonders if it is because I knew of her reality before she was even born into this world."

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Narragyambie Guest
25* year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

With Vladimir accepting her hypothetical company to take vengeance on those who had hurt him, Améa's fantasy of them against the world, fighting for what was good and pure was complete. She hadn't expected to ever find herself imagining such things with someone else, but it wasn't unwelcome. Suddenly her previous plans, where she alone had struck out in the night to solve what needed solving, seemed lonely and empty. 

"Maybe it is so," Améa nodded, referring to Nika. That was still something she was getting her head around. Améa wasn't sure if it ever really was something you got used to, though Jezebel made it look easy. Tonight was the first time she'd ever seen Jezebel visibly unsure in her parenting ability. Améa had made good use of her time in bonding with Nika, yet there was always that block there. Not intentional, and not one that stopped Améa from expressing how she felt, but one that still kept them more divided than she truly wanted. "She is much loved by her siblings and parents. And well it is she has such, for every bit of my love even never would be enough, and a mother never will I be," her eyes drifted downward, staring at the faded wood grain of the floor.

"Never have family of mine own," she whispered solemnly. "This I did swear, and let it also become one of many broken promise I will not." Which explained, perhaps, that for all of Zane's goading, they had returned without children. Nika was a mistake in the truest sense of the word, a break in Améa's discipline. Not a regret, but something she had never intended. She was glad that Nika had found herself among Jezebel's children, loved and part of a whole that she needed. Améa was even gladder still that she could be part of that without breaking her vow.

But to build her own family unit with someone else, to raise children and be their guide and protector? Améa had disallowed herself that dream.

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Melbourne ☆ Master Cellist/Conductor of the MSOSanctusX
28 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ He/Him

Yes, that much was certainly true - Veronika was loved by Viktor, Jezebel, her siblings, aunts and uncles, though from Viktor’s side it was certainly not by blood but by love. Even Vladimir himself, affectionately called Uncle Vladimir was not truly her uncle - not by blood. But, like his other nieces and nephew, he loved her.

But the rest of Améa’s words caught up with Vladimir, and the man gave pause, watching as she lost eye contact with him, staring down at the floorboards instead. Vladimir could not fathom the thought that Améa might consider herself incapable of being a mother. From what he had seen of her through their months of companionship, he could sense that she would make a good mother.

Vladimir did not make comment on that just yet.

There was a frown on his face though as his enhanced hearing heard her whispered words as clear as a crystal bell. Seeing her like this brought a small pang to him, inexplicable, but it was there regardless. If he smiled, maybe she would smile in turn… But first to grab her attention.

He reached forward and let his hand gently tip her chin upwards so that he could look her in the eyes once more, a smile returning to his face. “Having a family of your own can still be possible I am sure… In time, you will see, and we both have plenty of time at our disposal after all. I shall keep you company if you wish.” After all, had they not just spoken of companionship born of their blood and their longevity?

Finding someone just and right is usually the first step.

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Narragyambie Guest
25* year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Her chin lifted easily, the sorrow in her eyes clear. At one point in her life she had wanted to be a mother, she had imagined that she would find a way to avoid all of Adele's mistakes and do it right. At one point in her life, the path forward had been clear. Be good, marry well, take her mother's place, and provide the next in line to succeed her. This was what she had been raised to do, what her father had coached her in. More broken promises. Now---Améa didn't know what her place or path was. She had given up a lot for Zane, but even before that, there was Jezebel and her children. Jezebel, who had the better temperament by far even if she didn't know the history and culture of their people as intimately as Améa did.

And maybe it wouldn't matter at all. Adele was making moves that suggested a dissolution of the monarchy, and then what? It would be a slow process, it had to be. Adele and her radical ideas, her outsider ways, already ruffled too many feathers. She walked a delicate line between change and stability, Améa just hoped she could maintain the balance and avoid disgruntled monarchists trying to unseat her too early.

Vladimir was smiling again. At her. For her? She smiled back, weak and sad in response to his words, letting out a breath she didn't even know was caught in her chest.

"Possible, yes," she acknowledged. "Mine body is capable, but this right to make and guide life I did surrender. A mothers' duty is to protect what she does love, with heart and with soul against any threat. A mother is must be loyal and be honest. A mother must not take love, and reward with pain. A mother must give life, not take it." she wanted to look away, down at the floor, tip her head so she didn't have to look directly into Vladimir's eyes. She couldn't. His gaze pulled at her, and as the grief and the self-loathing bubbled inside her, it was there for him to see. 

"Once had I a father that did love me," she said, trembling through the words. "For all that love, and all promises made between us, I took him from this world. That is why no mother will I be."

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Melbourne ☆ Master Cellist/Conductor of the MSOSanctusX
28 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ He/Him

There was a smile in response, and though it was weak and in sorrow, it was still a smile. Sensitive ears caught the breath she let out, and Vladimir’s did his best to keep his smile on his face. The more Améa began to vocalize, however, the more the wheels turned within his mind as things began to fall into place.

He remembered the song that Améa had thought of when he had played the cello for her months ago. The look in her eyes spoke volumes, and Vladimir could see it, feel it, the sorrow that bubbled inside of her. Though by the logic she spoke…

Then by this logic, neither should I ever dream to be a father, for having taken life. A father helps to give life, and then protect it at the forfeiting of his own. Not my own father, or mother, but flesh and blood nevertheless, that tried to hurt me and the woman that I had loved. Another sin to add to my list, another reason to call me a monster.

She had been frightened by his power, of the vampiric essence that lay below the surface.

Vladimir scooted the chair forward enough to give in to an impulse that part of him could not control, and another part assured him that this would be all right. They had already overcome many barriers. Vladimir pulled Améa into a gentle hug, letting her rest her head on his shoulder.

We cannot go back to change the past, Améa, though this you know I am sure. But neither can we let the past tether and chain us down until we drown in our own sorrow. Something I myself have had to learn these past months.” Of course, it was not so simple as that, and Vladimir vocalized this too. "It is not simple... but instead one step at a time."

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