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Merit Would you instead care for a game of chance, perhaps? Name: Yu Jin He, Yu Kinokawa, usually goes by “Merit.” Sex: Male Age: Adult Species: Yokai, hebi Body Color: Onyx black scales that glimmer with a polished sheen. Belly scales are a polished gold that seem incapable of being tarnished by any semblance of dirt or filth. Unremarkable off-white coat in pony form. Mane/Tail Color and Style: As a hebi, no mane. However, has four horns like a classical western dragon, two atop his head that point backwards and two below those on each side that curl forward like ram’s horns. As a pony, a well-kept, trimmed mane that is jet black. A single stripe of gold is present about two thirds of the way up. He also keeps a very short trimmed beard of the same black. Eye Color: Green. Preserved in pony form. Physique: In natural form, a large serpent that would rival a young Long or an alicorn in size. In pony form, an average stature, albeit handsome middle-aged earth pony stallion. Residence: Has holdings in Long Kong, Polohama, Canterlot, Saraneighvo, Talonopolis, etc. Merit has a place to stay in any city be it because he owns property there or can acquire lodging of the highest caliber. Occupation: Entrepreneur, real estate mogul, all around rich guy. Cutie Mark: A black serpent that looks curiously similar to his yokai form curled around a collection of neatly stacked gold coins. Unique Traits Mathemagician. Merit has a head for numbers. He is able to effortlessly compute sums and estimate costs and quantities, making him a hellish negotiator to confront and a gambler nonpareil. Sneaky Snake. Like his yokai form would suggest, Merit always figures out ways to get around and through obstructions in his path whether literal or figurative. If a potential business partner becomes hostile, he will twist conditions around them to make them more amenable. He also has a tendency to arrive silently to social events or meetings, not being seen or heard unless he wishes to be. Whether this is through magic or simply shrewdness is at times difficult to tell. While spells are not his preferred means of conducting business, Merit has command of the magic that yokai naturally possess. This is mostly used to transform between his natural form and pony form as well as drop the occasional minor charm or hex to assist his otherwise entirely capable negotiation skills. Finally, he can summon mist on demand and vanish into it if necessary to either slip away or make a grand entrance. A River of Gold. Merit has accumulated a dragon’s horde worth of wealth in an extremely diversified portfolio spread out over several nations in his long lifetime. No matter where he goes, Merit is never at want for luxurious housing, excellent food, and royalty-level service. Any time an entourage of retainers or servants would be useful, it seems he can summon them at will. His pony form is the legal owner of a number of diversified properties across the world. Just snake things. While Merit is not truly cold-blooded, he is sensitive to cold and dislikes it extremely. He can be found wearing heavy (but stylish) clothing in any place with high elevation or low temperatures. Character History Growing up was so long ago that no others are alive to remember it. Merit himself rarely speaks of it, preferring instead to focus on the present. Suffice to say that the only relic of such a time was his name in Long: Yu Jin He, the river of gold, a place since lost to time. Merit’s long history meanders across the world in a series of acquisitions and sales. Beginning in the east, he worked his way west, first to the shores of Roam in Equestria, then to its neighbors. Each place he explored, he established new contacts, new properties, and a new node for his network. Eventually, he returned to the east a wealthy, self-made yokai. Personality As his chosen name suggests, Merit holds those who stand above their peers in high regard. This is tempered, however, by his skepticism of those whom he has not personally tested. He is perpetually polite thanks to years of slithering through high society and learning the ins and outs of both business and courtly affairs. This does not, however, mean he is a pushover. It is apparent when someone has incurred the ire of Yu Kinokawa and those who do often find things going wrong for them in short order. With wealth and privilege comes vanity and a touch of arrogance that individuals of lower standing might find repulsive. However, Merit is unapologetic in his pride, as he has earned every right to be proud of himself via hard work and sacrifice. To mere plebeians, Merit appears polite and at times even kind -- if not a bit patronizing. Merit is fond of games that involve cards, chance, and the clashing of personas. He is an exceptional gambler and does not hesitate to conduct business in one of his casinos either over drinks and a meal or even at the games tables. The thrill of the bet and the satisfaction of the deal is where Merit thrives. Even if he is bested, he celebrates a game well-played… so long as it was accomplished fairly. Woe to those who cheat Merit. As much as Merit coddles his vice of pride, he intensely dislikes those who came to their wealth or privilege without paying for it with their time and their energy; even less for those who have no idea the kind of influence they wield with their wealth. Merit mostly stays out of such affairs, preferring to avoid entanglements with such undesirables, but sometimes he goes so far as to indulge in the orchestration of their downfall.