Chapter 11:

The Librarian

Red is the Color of You

     An earthy scent is always present in the vast library, which is consistently accompanied by pin-drop silence with only the creaking and settling of the bookshelves heard on occasion. Several floors worth of books stretch up and down the halls and floating books whiz past, putting themselves back in the correct location, while others are scattered in hovering shelves which occupy the center gap between each floor. Looking up the gaping hole, one can see a window of stained glass which adorns the ceiling along with an extravagant chandelier, usually low lit. Despite the comfort the immense library excretes, Wraith still dislikes coming here for one primary reason. 

“Long time no see, abhorrent specter of despair.” The brassy smart-ass voice unnerves Wraith and he starts to regret his arrival. 

A somewhat tall, mature woman, seated on a large paintbrush, floats down next to him. Her straight brown hair is incredibly long and voluminous, hence tied in a ponytail by an emerald ribbon with bangs draped around her face. The ribbon was given to her by none other than Wraith, for the sole reason that it matches her eyes. Rectangular royal green open framed glasses rest on her face, complimenting her beauty mark beneath her left eye. 

Despite her mature demeanor, her clothes are flowy, yet revealing, as her white dress and black belt hugs her torso, barely containing her large chest, while the lower half wades in the wind, her black open ankle strap heels nearly completing the outfit, but what truly does is her long multi-colored scarf, which wraps around her, resting nearly off her shoulders. Like Wraith, she owns a kiseru pipe, but unlike him, it always seems to be glued to her hand. Around her are various books and papers, which seem to be writing themselves as a quill etches into them with great speed.

“You couldn’t at least call me by my name?” Wraith’s tone is simultaneously annoyed, yet defeated, as this wouldn’t be the first time she referred to him in a degrading manner.

The mature woman gets off of her paintbrush, landing on the floor. “You demand respect as a man who respects no one.” She exhales smoke from her pipe, blowing it in his face in disgust while Wraith swats it away and rolls his eyes. “In all the time you have in the world, you couldn’t stop by and visit?”

“For obvious reasons, which you’re currently reminding me of.” Wraith groans. “I wanted to ask you something, Lavina.”

     She dismisses the books and quills around her, taking another whiff of her pipe. “Obviously, why else would you come here?” 

Without another word, she walks down the corridor away from him, Wraith begrudgingly following after. Lavina checks the books as she passes by the shelves, rearranging some, while straightening others, Wraith still walking behind her, his red robe standing out in the low lit hall. Silence fills the air before Lavina finally decides to get to the point.

“So? What did you want to ask?”

“I was waiting to see if you’d do that thing you always do where you predict what I’m going to say.” Wraith reaches for a book, only for Lavina to slap his hand with her pipe, him glaring in turn as he rubs the back of his hand.

“Then, my guess is that you’ve run into a strange human, since all it seems like you do lately is eat, sleep, and fornicate.”

“You’d at least be right in the first half. I found a kid that can-”

“See you?” She interrupts, which slightly ticks off Wraith.

“Not just me but-”

“Other ghosts as well.” She interrupts again. Repeatedly, Wraith asks himself why he decided to put himself through this aggravation. “I would ask if I’m correct, but your irritated visage already answers that for me. I’m sure you’ve heard of mediums?”

Wraith tries to put aside his vexation in order to get the answers he needs. “Yea, but I thought they were basically extinct? Or one in a billion chance, since I have never seen one before.”

“Well, yes and no. How much do you know about them?”

“Not a lot, honestly. I just know them by name, some special humans or whatever.”

“Well, they’re not their own race, since in every aspect they’re human except for the fact that they can see ghosts...and there’s one specific ghost in which they resonate with.”

Arriving at a study room, Wraith seats himself while Lavina sits on the table in front of him.

“What do you mean?”

“Mediums are meant to help a ghost who feels a sense of unfulfillment, like something is missing, or something they wish they had, like a friend or someone to listen to them. As such, in order to fulfill their role, the medium has to interact with the ghost in a way which increases their bond.”

Wraith gestures to Lavina for her to pass the pipe, which she surprisingly complies with. “As in…?” He takes a whiff of her pipe and exhales.

“Take Neio for example, your blue brute of a general.” 

Wraith ignores her comment, since he’s grown accustomed to her manner of speaking after all these centuries. 

“He feels as though he understands people better when he sits and has a drink with them, or he spars with them. Some others resonate with people better if someone just listens to them, or they share a meal, spend quality time, things like that. Your case is a little bit different, since you understand people best when you either nearly kill them, or-”

“Sleep with them...ugh…” He hands the pipe back to Lavina. “I don’t want to do that right away, since it’s difficult to manage, and beating him within an inch of his life is obviously not an option… Is there something else I can do to see if he’s really a medium? More specifically mine I suppose.”

“In terms of mediums, their blood tastes different depending on their emotion, so if they’re sad, it’s salty, anger makes it spicy, etcetera. But to know if they’re your medium, I imagine physical touch will do it, as in light foreplay, since it’s close enough to the act itself. To know for sure, you’ll feel something in your soul that feels like a spark or a tether to them.” 

Wraith seems like he’d prefer another alternative, but knows there’s no other option. 

“Actually, another thing, ask when he started to see ghosts. If it was after he met you, then chances are you two are linked, but I would still try physical contact for reassurance. The key aspect between a medium and a ghost is the bond between their souls.”

He clicks his tongue, crosses his arms, and leans back in the chair. “And suddenly I supposedly feel unfulfilled? For as long as I’ve been alive? Ugh.” Wraith runs his fingers through his hair with a stressed countenance. “The last thing I needed was a walking weak point, I wasn’t planning on letting him die in the first place but now? Shit…Tell me, what area of my life do you think I could possibly be unfulfilled in? Since you know so much.” He sarcastically remarks.

“And why would I tell you that, after all the information I’ve given you for free?” Lavina blows a cloud of smoke in his face again, Wraith’s brows becoming more and more furrowed. “In terms of payment, update me on your little medium friend, a male I assume judging by your use of pronouns. A specter with a medium is an odd pair indeed, which I can’t say I’ve ever recorded, so I’d like to know how it turns out.”

Wraith rolls his eyes. “Fine.” Lavina wickedly grins in turn, knowing full well what he’s getting into.