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Dong Qing This is a second chance I will not waste! Name: Dong Qing (冬青), “Holly” Sex: Female Age: Mare Species: Longma Body Color: Phthalo green coat with bronze belly scales. Pinions are ash white, though her left main pinion is often blackened by ink and has had some of its feathering trimmed into a quill point that she can write with. Mane/Tail Color and Style: Ash mane and tail. Mane is either pulled into a tight bun or tied back and allowed to drape over her shoulders as appropriate. Tail tufts are kepted well coiffed if possible. Eye Color: Auric. Wears thin-rimmed glasses. Physique: Tall and willowy. Her horns are rather prominent, with one main branch and one large additional branch on each side. Residence: Huangjing, the Imperial Capital, ever by Empress Yue's side. Occupation: Personal assistant to Empress Yu Yue. Cutie Mark: An unfurled scroll with two completed check marks on it and a quill pen drawing a third checkmark, symbolizing her attention to detail and knack for numbers and lists. Unique Traits Qing is well-educated and well-spoken, being able to speak Long, Neighponese, and Equestrian Common fluently, with a smattering of other languages that she can understand, all a result of her schooling prior to her service to the Empress. She is also proficient at mental math and memorizing figures and dates, all skills which make her an excellent personal assistant. Her time as an officer cadet also gives her an understanding of strong vs. weak leadership, tactics, and how to read body language and morale. Being a personal assistant, however, she finds herself mostly deferring to others’ authority. Qing is not trained in combat, but is certainly strong enough to throw a punch in a pinch and big enough to hold down an uncooperative pony or carry an injured one. She is very dextrous with her wings and tail, being able to write with either and even manipulate some objects with them as if they were hands. Her dragon breath manifests as a golden flame which she can focus down to a fine point. She uses it most often to melt seals and occasionally heat her tea. Character History Dong Qing can best be described as the lovable screwup growing up. She was always tall for her age and often had trouble finding her feet, leading her to be very clumsy and awkward at times. It immediately became apparent that physical activities were not her strong suite and thus her parents gently nudged her toward more academic pursuits. It was in school that her talents brought themselves to light. Qing had a knack for remembering facts and events and keeping long lists in her head. She excelled in her classes and tested well, though she didn’t find any of them particularly interesting. Seeing that their daughter was bored, her parents once again nudged her, this time toward officer school with the Army. Because of her academic aptitude, Qing breezed through their equivalent of JROTC and crushed the entrance exams to military academy. She quickly found, however, that the environment was not what she had anticipated. Instead of quiet labs or organized classrooms, the school was so competitive that she could feel it seeping into her coat and scales against her will. The pressure of overachieving and the constant drilling and yelling of military school caused her to crack, her anxiety rapidly crashing her grades and her will to continue. Just shy of completing her first year at academy, she dropped out. Qing was left in a funk after returning home, often disappearing for days at a time in her room. Even when her sister came home to see her, she rarely ventured out. Her parents reached out one more time, contacting a family friend to try and help her find a job and put her life back on track. The friend quietly passed along an opening for a personal assistant, where Qing’s skills would be useful and keep her engaged and focused. Qing applied thinking it was some bureaucrat requiring a personal secretary, but was shocked to find she would be serving the Empress of Long Guo. In spite of her protests, her parents nudged her toward the job. Swallowing her anxiety, Qing accepted. As it turns out, she was an ideal fit. The authority she was given and the constant use of skills where her gifts lay put vigor back into her step and gave her something to work for. While she still struggles with anxiety due to the sheer importance of her job, her desire to succeed and redeem herself for her perceived failure in officer school continues to push her forward. Personality Dong Qing is quiet and reserved individual under most circumstances. Her foalhood clumsiness never entirely went away and she is still somewhat self-conscious about her height, but experience has tempered her fears and taught her how to put on a proper face for the occasions she finds herself in. Still, without time to unwind after a long day’s work, Qing often finds herself exhausted, fidgety, and anxious. Qing has a head for organization and leadership both due to her natural aptitudes and her stint as an officer cadet in the Imperial Army. She rarely speaks of her time there because of the shame she associates with failing out, instead calling it “boarding school” and subsequently changing the subject. Her aversion to officer school has not dampened her skills, however. First encounters with Qing are always done with her professional face on. She plays an excellent hostess, keeping up with current events, trends, and even switching to the language that guests prefer to make them more comfortable. Any inquiries to her personal life are usually either deflected or returned with stock neutral responses. It takes quite a long time for her to warm up to most acquaintances. Despite her occasional crises of self-confidence, however, she is hopeful that she can someday overcome her personal problems and live up to the potential she knows she still has.