Chapter 15:

Blood is Thicker Than Water

Red is the Color of You

     Murmurs and hearsays swarmed the grandiose hall, which consisted of several large stone columns, with the only furniture being a long oval table surrounded by thirteen chairs, two of which were empty. A shudder of the double doors finally silenced the room. The first discernable sight through the crack of the doors was a tall figure draped with a crimson robe, who flicked his cigarette to the side as he walked through the doors. Most of the other specters held their tongue as he made his way to his seat, but not the specter of regret, who despite being younger than Wraith, maintained the appearance of a stern old man.

“For you to be unpunctual and dilatory at a time such as this is disgraceful.” Barron rebuked with a scowl adorned on his visage.

“Can it, old man. You should be glad I even showed up at all.” Wraith relaxed into the chair, placing both of his feet on the table as he lit another cigarette, the other specters, excluding Lavina, were both discernibly disgusted and disturbed by his deplorable disrespectful actions.

The specter of merriment, Madeline, who was quite child-like in appearance although being a few centuries old herself, tried to defuse the situation quickly, as Barron nearly rises from his seat in anger. “W-Well! Y-you know why we called for a counsel right? I mean what am I saying of course you know I can be so stupid sometimes-”

Adelard, the specter of loneliness, interrupts her, half annoyed. Unlike the others, he has a more teenage appearance, borderline young adult. “Why did you devour Ianthe?” He gets straight to the point, knowing that the entire conference is a waste of everyone’s time.

Wraith tosses his cigarette into the center of the table, stretching in his chair. “She invaded my territory. I’m sure that’s good enough of a reason?” He sarcastically responds.

Barron, not buying it, retaliates, slamming his fist onto the marble surface. “Why would Ianthe antagonize you willingly, knowing full well that it would lead to imbalance due to the loss of the specter of guilt?!”

“Apparently you don’t know her well enough then. She had this conspiracy theory in her mind and she was willing to attempt to kill me over it. In her world, she thought she could win. And obviously, she was wrong.”

     There’s visible doubt on the vast majority of the other specter’s faces, the story seeming too anomalous to be believable. As such, they turn to Lavina as a source of information. As the specter of knowledge, she takes an unbiased account of all that occurs, so her word is always taken as truth, even in matters regarding Wraith, despite their past history together.

“Does he speak true?” Barron directs his question to her.

Lavina, as a sign of respect, didn’t bring her kiseru pipe. Often do people wonder how Wraith and Lavina came to be at one point and time, considering their completely opposing personalities and mannerisms. 

“He’s telling the truth. Ianthe deliberately invaded his territory in an effort to battle him, as she knew full well that he wouldn’t humor her otherwise.” 

Whispers fill the hall once more from Lavina’s words, since no one could wrap their head around why. Such a foolish act could only have one result.

“Ianthe believed Wraith to be a man who manipulated others by fear, and as such, she declined to believe that he held any strength.” Despite the fact that everyone knew she wouldn’t lie, they still found it hard to believe. What could possibly cause her to come to such a conclusion?

“You happy now?” Wraith kicked the table in order to push out his chair as he stood to leave while shooting a glance towards the specter of hate, who for the first time, had nothing to say. “You got your answers, so I’m seeing myself out.”

Barron clicked his tongue and tightened his fist as Wraith left, many of the other specters sharing his resentment, yet they were unable to stop him.

     To lighten his mood, Wraith decided to check in on Izumi, who was taking a break from writing by vegetating on the couch. Startled, he jumps in his seat at the sight of Wraith and reprimands him.

“How many times do I have to tell you to use a door?!” He cries out, trying to settle his frightened soul.

“And why would I do that when I can just invite myself in? It’s less work on your part.” Wraith drapes his robe across the armrest of the couch, sitting beside Izumi.”Got some good news for you though. I might know why you can see ghosts.”

Forgetting his slight anger, Izumi lights up. “Really?! How?!”

“If it wasn’t in mutual benefit I honestly would’ve made you pay for it, because I had to talk to the last person I wanted to see.”

“Which is…?”

“My ex.”

Izumi’s mouth drops open as his eyebrows raise. “No way, you dated someone before?! I never took you for the type! Who, what was she- or he- like? What-”

“Sheesh, calm down. I did just once, her name’s Lavina, she’s the specter of knowledge. We dated for awhile, and by awhile I mean like six of your lifetimes, then we fell off because, how should I put it… we annoyed each other I suppose.”

“After that long?”

“Yes! She gets on my fucking nerves with her smart ass attitude I can’t stand it!” Realizing he lost his temper, Wraith clears his throat and restarts. “So I try not to visit unless I have to, and in that case, I didn’t see an alternative. According to her, you could be a medium, well by could be I mean it’s pretty likely, it’s just a matter of who.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“To shorten it, your fate is conjoined with another ghost who feels dissatisfied, and it’s your job to fill that void. I have to… run some tests, let's say, to see if I’m the supposed ghost in question.”

“Dissatisfied? What am I supposed to do about that?”

“Well, according to Lavina it would be in a specific area, like maybe the ghost just wants someone to talk to or spar with, only time can tell what it is really. Only way to find out is by doing something that resonates with them, in the case of some ghosts, it could just be sharing a meal or travelling, whatever the ghost feels helps them understand a person best. So first question little princess, do you remember when you started seeing ghosts?”

Without hesitation, Izumi responds. “Yea, it was after I met you in that field when I was a kid.”

“Never saw anything before?”


“You sure?”


“Hundred percent?”


Wraith looks a tad unsettled.

“Is there a second question?”

“More of a request really. I need to taste your blood when you’re experiencing different emotions. For mediums, the taste changes based on that. Got any ideas on how to do that?”

“Well, my mom is out for the rest of the week with Lala, since she went upstate to do a bit of work on the side since it pays better. We could watch some movies if you want? I get too invested for my own good.” Izumi laughs off his slight shame. “After work, I can do, say, three? Movies.”

“You think you can handle me taking that much blood from you?” Before Izumi can respond, Wraith comes up with an idea. “We have a week right? I’ll come every other day. If you don’t mind starting today, we can.”

“That’s fine with me, since I don’t have anything planned.”

     Izumi reaches for the remote in order to put on a film for them to watch. Rarely did Wraith ever watch a movie, since it wasn’t something he really fancied; hence, his focus was more on Izumi, as he sat between Wraith’s legs with Wraith’s chin resting on his shoulder if he wasn’t relaxed into the couch. This made it easier for him to receive Izumi’s blood, since he didn’t need to consistently reach for Izumi’s wrist or ask him to come closer; although this resulted in Izumi being greatly distracted for the start of the first movie, his mind occupied by the lack of distance between the two. 

The first movie was action packed, which Izumi didn’t really care for, and as such, his blood maintained its usual sweet taste. 

On the other hand, the second was a drama which sent him into a rage, feeling the immense struggles of the protagonist, causing his blood to be lukewarm and peppery, Wraith nearly coughing it up immediately since he didn’t expect the sudden change in flavor. 

To end the day, they watched a tearful romance. Izumi’s crying made Wraith a bit uncomfortable because he wasn’t sure how to properly react, but he figured that Izumi wouldn’t mind if he had a taste, although he nearly regret it immediately. His blood was cold and salty, as though he drank a glassful of ocean water. 

After the fact, Wraith relayed his findings to Izumi. There was no question in Wraith’s mind that Izumi was a medium at this point, but the issue at hand was who he was connected with. He didn’t know how to approach Izumi, considering the only way he could be certain if it was him was if they slept together, since that was the way in which Wraith best resonated with people and nearly killing Izumi was out of the question. 

In order to delay this problem, Wraith somewhat lied, telling Izumi it was best they tried watching some more movies at later dates to be certain that he was a medium, until finally, on the third day, did Izumi ask the question himself at the end of the now ninth movie. He sits next to Wraith, rather than in front of him, a little annoyed.

“My neck’s gonna get swollen at this rate, there’s no way I’m not a medium just from the change of taste of my blood alone. Didn’t you say that the other thing you needed to see was if I’m connected to you or something?”

“Well yea, but- ugh…”

“What is it? You said we just had to do whatever connects you with others the most, right?”

“That’s the issue, you see…” He scratches his head in an effort to find the right words. Never did Wraith think he’d have a hard time asking someone for sex, but there’s a first time for everything. “You can obviously say no, and I guess I’ll have to think of a way around it, but, thing is, for me there’s two ways in that regard. The first is I have someone at the ropes which-”

“NO!!” Izumi shrikes. “There’s no way!!!”

“Calm down, I wasn’t saying it in a way of suggestion. Even I have the common sense to not do that.”

“Then...what’s the second option?”

Wraith sighs heavily, knowing that he had to ask eventually. “We sleep together.”



Izumi seems to be thinking about it, making Wraith ramble to fill the uneasy silence.

“Like I said, you can say no. Lavina had suggested foreplay as a secondary option, there’s some technicals for how I would know that I can explain some other time, so I honestly wasn’t sure when we did, like it was a weak connection and I wasn’t sure so-”

“We can do that, sleep together I mean. You said you weren’t sure when we made out, right? I want to know for sure, and I’m sure you do too, so it’s fine.”

Wraith didn’t know how he expected Izumi to respond, but he’s still a bit surprised nonetheless. “Are you sure?”

“I’m sure, especially since my mom is out of town-”

Wraith pinches Izumi’s nose. “Don’t say it like that, you’re how old now?”

Izumi rubs his nose and scowls. “27.”

“You really don’t look like it, my dainty little princess.” Clearly, Wraith regained his composure, making Izumi miss the short period of time in which he wasn’t so collected. Sweeping him off the couch, Wraith swiftly picks up Izumi, who in turn becomes incredibly flustered.

“W-what are you doing?!”

“Getting this off my conscious as quickly as I can.” Carrying Izumi, he vacates upstairs to the bedroom.

     Wraith carefully set Izumi onto the bed, sitting on his knees between his legs, figuring that a much gentler approach would be better for Izumi considering the long gap between his last encounter and the one to come. Thus, Wraith held Izumi by his waist, and using the bed as support, he leaned in for a kiss, with Izumi wrapping his arms around the nape of Wraith’s neck. Izumi doesn’t share the same patience and care as he swiftly slips his tongue into Wraith’s unexpecting mouth. There’s something alluringly addicting about his piercing, likely due to the fact that it added a bit of zest to the already tantalizing kiss, their lips only parting when Wraith removes Izumi’s shirt and jacket. As they exchange a passionate dance, Izumi craved for more, hurriedly unbuttoning Wraith’s dress shirt which now lay open, revealing his bare stalwart torso. 

Wiping his mouth, Wraith pulled from Izumi and fully removed his dress shirt, allowing Izumi to absorb the sight. He was never able to truly tell what Wraith’s form was because of his clothes, but now his long held question was finally answered, and it sent a pulsation through Izumi’s body in more ways than one. On the other hand, Wraith studied Izumi, deciding upon which part of him to devour first, Izumi interrupting him as he directs him to the lubricant located underneath the bed, Wraith holding off on his sarcastic comments for once. 

Simultaneously, he removed Izumi’s shorts and undergarments, his shaft only in a semi, which was quickly about to change as Wraith bent over, taking hold of Izumi and enveloping his mouth around him. He softly sucked as his tongue massaged the length of his private, his piercing pressing against Izumi's tip and shaft, only removing his mouth for a moment in order to release an ounce of lube onto his hands. 

Izumi held his hand over his mouth while the other held firmly onto Wraith's smooth ombre hair, trying to suppress his voice as Wraith pleasured him from both sides. A hot sensation boils inside Izumi's torso and nearly escapes him, holding himself back for Wraith's sake. Sensing his limit, Wraith removes himself from Izumi's person. 

Unfastening his belt, Wraith removes his lower garments, Izumi's eyes widening at the sight of his length which is at least double the size of his own. Wraith lifted Izumi's leg over his shoulder, caressing it as he lubricated his hardened shaft. A sense of anxious longing grasped Izumi's heart as he impatiently watched Wraith. Pulling him closer, he gradually inserted himself inside, Izumi attempting to calm his breaths in an attempt to cope with the sensation. 

Due to the vast size, he doesn’t- or rather is unable to- insert the entirety of himself. With his hands around his hips, Wraith slowly shifted inside, only thrusting quicker when he felt that Izumi was more accustomed to him. Izumi wrapped his legs around Wraith's now bent torso, his nails digging into Wraith’s back the more his pace quickened, and unable to contain it any longer, he whimpered Wraith’s name. Removing himself, Wraith pulled Izumi close and engulfed him from behind, wrapping a hand around Izumi’s tip while he groped his chest. 

Softly, Wraith bit Izumi’s neck, consuming his enriched ichor. Their heated heavy voices echoed throughout the confined bedroom along with the squelching and beating of their bodies as they made repeated contact. Reaching a climax, a feverish moan burst out of Izumi's chest alongside his ejaculation, Wraith following shortly after, filling Izumi with his nectar. 

At that moment, they both felt it as clear as day. A strong pull which went beyond a physical connection, it was a spectral tether which tied the two souls together, giving an even greater sense of satisfaction from the intercourse. Catching their breath, the two lay in the bed side by side. Izumi wanted to ask if he was attached to Wraith as his medium, but in his heart, he knew the answer, and truthfully, he was glad.

     The sun shone through the blinds, signifying the start of the day, but Izumi didn’t find himself ready. He lifted the covers over his head and buried his face into Wraith’s wide warm chest. 

His chest? 

Izumi felt the body in front of him, which had an arm around him. Patting Wraith down, Izumi began to slowly come to terms with the previous night, shooting up from the bed. 

Now sitting up, he gazed at the fast asleep specter beside him. 

We-we- Izumi’s head spinned in circles. For some reason, at the time he didn’t think anything of it, but seeing the aftermath cemented the event into his mind. Blood rushed to Izumi’s cheeks, setting them on fire as he pulled the sheets tightly against his chest. Because he was preoccupied with his own affairs, Izumi didn’t notice the two unfamiliar bodies in his room until one eventually spoke.

“Hey, the human kid is awake. After he leaves, we should wake up the boss.”

Izumi whipped his head and jumped, his soul escaping his body at the sight of the two inhuman figures in his room: one of which was a colossal blue four armed orc, while the other was a black empty suit of armor which emitted a dark smog.

“Who the hell are you and what are you doing in my room?!!” Izumi shrieks, some part of him wanting to wake up Wraith, but he refrains.

The two, equally surprised, frantically turned to each other, then back at Izumi.

“You can see us kid?!!!” The blue orc shouted.

“Yes now who are you!!” Izumi shouted back.

The bed sheets rustled as Wraith rose, clearly, he wasn’t a morning person. Wraith’s hair was disheveled and he squinted from the sunlight, his countenance conveying his vexation with the noise.

“Why the hell are you shouting in the morning?” His voice was low and disinterested. Pulling Izumi closer, Wraith cuddled him with his hands wrapped around his waist and his chin on Izumi’s shoulder.

“Boss!” The two fell to one knee in a bow. “Dahlia and I were worried sick! You always return by the end of the day, so we tracked your scent and found you here.”

“Obviously I'm fine. I appreciate the concern but I can handle myself.”

Izumi tried to turn to look at Wraith, but struggled since he was located directly behind him.


“Oh, in a way easy to understand, they’re my generals. Blue man is Neio, the dullahan is Dahlia.” They lift their hands respectively. “The only two I have. Dahlia doesn’t speak, so they use telepathy to communicate. And for you two, this is Izumi. I’ll explain his situation later, but for now, treat him like you would me. And…do you mind waiting downstairs while we freshen up?”

“Right right! Sorry boss, and nice to meet you Izumi my boy!” Neio salutes, Dahlia greeting Izumi as well with a nod before they both leave.

     After showering, Wraith and Izumi went downstairs to find breakfast already prepared. Dahlia sets the table while Neio unwraps his apron.

“Little Izumi!” He runs over and grabs him with two arms, the other two messing with his hair. “You’re so lanky and small, I thought I’d cook you up a meal to make you big and strong!” Neio seats Izumi at the dining table. 

The breakfast is pretty simple, only an omelette with a side of bacon and orange juice, but the omelette seems filled to its maximum capacity. There’s only enough food for Izumi, which he expected. Other than Izumi’s cutlery, there are two glasses of alcohol on the table. Wraith yawns, lowering the hood to his red robe as he sits across from Izumi in front of one of the glasses. After cleaning up the mess they made in the kitchen, Neio and Dahlia join them at the dining table. A glass firm in his hand, Neio throws the alcohol to the back of his throat with a wide, hearty smile stretched onto his face, while in comparison, Wraith drinks at a normal pace.

“How do you know how to cook? I thought ghosts don’t eat human food.” Izumi asked Neio.

“We don’t, but I figured hey with four arms my cooking would be pretty snazzy! So, is it?” 

Izumi takes a bite of the omelette and colorful flavors fill his mouth, unconsciously beaming in approval. 

“Your face says it all kiddo!” Neio roared a thunderous laughter.

“How did you learn? This is super good!”

“Hehe, well, I asked the boss if we could expand the kitchen and he said do what you want .” Neio repeats in a mocking tone, getting a chuckle out of Izumi from the familiarity and accuracy of his impression. “So I went ahead and had the servants procure some human goods and utensils, and bam! Plenty of time in our long lasting lifespans to practice, and practice always makes perfect! Only issue was that I couldn’t really accurately test if what I made was good or not, since I can’t taste it, so what I would do is leave it out in a park in the hopes that someone would pick it up instead of the birds. Eventually, I tried going for areas more occupied by the homeless since they were more up for grabs. From there I just watched their faces to learn if I was hitting the right marks.”

     Izumi thought it was a bit sweet that he fed the homeless, although it was really just to test his cooking. Originally, Izumi was a bit scared of Neio, since he seemed about seven feet tall and his muscles were enormous and bulging. His various amount of scars didn’t make his appearance any more approachable, but really, he has a big heart.

“I thought that ghosts heal from injuries?”

“We do, but we can still scar if it’s bad enough.” Neio responded.


“Well you see this one.” Neio points to a gash in his right shoulder blade. “This one’s from the boss.” He boisterously laughed, Izumi a bit weirded out since Wraith is sitting right there. “Tore my arm off when I arm wrestled him! Can you believe that?” As Neio continues to laugh, Izumi worriedly looks at Wraith and the difference in their sizes. Despite Neio being much larger than Wraith, he still was able to do sustainable damage with ease. “He put it back for me though.”

Izumi turns to Dahlia. “Can you even get hurt?”

The voice which speaks in his mind startles him for a moment, but then he remembers what Wraith told him. “I can, as my armor is sewn together by my essence, so if it sustains injury, it harms me directly.”

Izumi isn’t sure what they mean by that, but he decides not to ask.

“What about you Wraith?”

He seems unnerved as he responds with little emotion. “I’m gonna go for a smoke.” Wraith quickly leaves the room; Izumi, a little confused, looks at Neio and Dahlia, who shrug in return.

“Well… how did you two meet Wraith?”

“It’s a long story on both of our parts, but the short version… He found us at our lowest and gave us a home. Most spirits follow him due to his sense of comradery. The boss doesn’t act all high and mighty like most specters, really, he only sets his foot down when someone intentionally disrespects him, which never happens at this point.” Neio answers.

“So, do you guys live with him then?”

“Sure do! All specters own a huuuuuge home where they house their followers. Boss usually comes back sometime during the night, he likes to spend his days outside if he’s not hibernating, hence why we got so worried when he didn’t come home.”

     The topic of Wraith’s home was incredibly intriguing to Izumi, since he never talked about where he lived before. Neio, however, directed a storm of questions towards Izumi before he could do so first, asking Izumi all about how he came to know Wraith and more. Eventually, the pair left Izumi, paying their respects as per Wraith’s request. After they left, Wraith returned, relaxing onto the couch. A little suspicious, Izumi wonders why it took Wraith so long to come back from a smoke break, but he decided not to ask, since he already seemed a bit unsettled. Izumi sat beside Wraith, nervously kicking his feet.


Wraith turns, “Let’s hope that you being connected with me doesn’t get you killed, my little medium.” Picking up Izumi’s hand, Wraith pecks the back, flushing his cheeks red as he pulls his hand away.

“S-so, that means…”

“I won’t pressure you, don’t worry. Whenever you want to, I’ll oblige, or if I start to and you’re not feeling it, you can always stop me. Time will tell what is supposedly lacking after all this time, and hopefully, we’ll learn what’s in it for you as well.” Although he smiles, Izumi can tell that there’s a pinch of sadness in his heart.

“Then… I look forward to working with you.”

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