Chapter 5:

0.5. Experimental Subject

We Got 'Shipped' by the Goddess


<Pu’er Julis>

“And that’s all I have to say. Any questions?”

Ending my report, I ran my eyes over the panel of executives, taking note of their miasma levels.

One raised his hand.

“Can you elaborate on the solution to resolve the disjoint in the logistic and consumer orders? What’s the estimated price of commodities we have in storage and how much of it is close to expiration date?”

Troublesome.

This is why I hate having to organize data for a meeting. I don’t know what questions to expect, it’s inevitable that I’ll miss out on some info. To them, every bit of information is crucial in making a judgement.

I gave a rough estimate based on the difference between the data from the previous year to the one for this year, apologizing that I don’t have the accurate numbers. They took my estimation with a light nod.

“Should we consider reselling these? Or should we distribute it to government charities?”

“I think we can supply these to private hospitals for a lower price. After all, there’s not a lot left, they can buy in bulk.”
“We still need a read on the accurate quantities. There’s also an issue with how we should package it into a price.”

“Miss Pu’er, can you pull up the revenue comparison charts for the respective products?”

“Yes sir.”
From the corner of my eye, I watched as my boss nodded with a satisfied smile. Guess I didn’t mess up too badly this time around.

===

“Good work Miss Pu’er.”
My boss complimented as we made our way out the stuffy room.

I wasn’t too sure what exactly they decided on, which is usually the norm, making me wonder what exactly is the purpose of all these meetings?

My boss was scanning through his itinerary on his phone. Though I’m his secretary, he’s the one who ultimately controls his schedule. It may not be the same for others in the same field, my boss assigns me most of his paperwork so he can focus on things like building connections and catching developing trends in the market.

“Pu’er, are you open for dinner later?”

“Sure, I’m open.”
How rare of him.

“Do you have anywhere you would like to try?”

“Not particularly.”
“I see. Then how about we go to Alaska Spire? A new restaurant had recently just opened a branch there– Wisteria, my friends said the food was excellent. It’ll be on me of course.”
“I..”
Vrr. Vrr.

“Excuse me for a moment.”

I took my phone and checked the number. My mind went blank for a moment.

“Pardon me,” I lowered my head and quickly ran to a secluded spot.

I accepted the call.

“Pu’er Julis here. What is it Darwin?”

[“The arrangements are done. You can come to the church now.”]

I felt my stomach churn.

“Darwin. Is there.. by any chance that I may decline it if I don’t foresee the need anymore?”

[“..Did the demon do something?”]

“No.. he.. he’s not a bother anymore. I’ve managed to subdue him.”
Yep. No other angel on earth would be able to believe that I managed to tame a demon.

[“Hm.. it’s not that I believe you but are you sure? I think you should come to receive the new formula.”]

“You said I could come at any time, right?”

[“Yes. Be sure to ring me up when you do.”]
“Got it. I’ll try to find some time in between.”
[“I’ll leave it to you.”]
“I know.”

When the call ended, my hands dropped off to the side. I clenched it into a fist.

Why did I even decide to become an experimental subject?

I walked out of the nook and found my boss waiting nearby the elevator.

“Pardon me for asking but did something happen? You don’t look well.”

I raised my eyes slightly.

“I’m sorry.. I don’t think I can go with you for dinner. I have something important that just came up.”

.. And saw his conscious miasma increase a few points.

“I see. Then I won’t pursue it further. However, you’re free to share any troubles you have with me if you need to. I’m ready to listen alright?”

“I understand.”
Ding.

The elevator shutter opened. My boss stepped in.
“Are you not coming?”
I shook my head.

He nodded solemnly.

I’m sorry for worrying you. The number began going down.

The door shut again.

My knees turned jelly and I leaned against a nearby wall.

I’m not sure if I want to continue anymore..

“Why..”

Greed.

Hate.

Disgust.

The price I have to pay for these sins..

Trembling, I picked up my phone..

And called Avner.

===

The only reason I signed up for this in the first place was because of Avner. I needed strength to drive that demon out of my office.. and that I lacked.

So by some chance encounter, I managed to make contact with an angel who was looking for people to volunteer for a new product they were creating to boost abilities.

I received my first jab a few months ago– the invasion of some unknown substance into my body. I didn’t notice any notable changes in my fighting prowess. I didn’t even feel any pain, so I thought it didn’t work..

Until I became able to see a person’s miasma level. It’s a simple denotation of negative energy that could be found in their consciousness.

This ability to see someone’s miasma gauge is by no means normal. When I asked about it, they said this ‘project’ consists of multiple stages, and I’ve only completed the first one.

As you may have guessed by now, I’ve gotten used to Avner’s presence and found that though he’s a demon, he isn’t such a bad person after all. All those worries that I may perhaps lose my life were unfounded..

I realized that I didn’t need this ‘strength’. My life was fine as is.

Why did I even despise the demon race?

Blinded by greed, disgust, hate..

Taking rumors at face value without checking the facts..

I don’t want to continue the experiment but if I don’t.. the penance I’ll have to face..

Why did I even volunteer for something so dangerous?

I stopped my car in front of a red light.

Vrr. Vrr.

My body shook. I quickly took out my phone, almost dropping it in the process–

This demon.. I’ve called you three times, why didn’t you pick up!

“Avner Franc.”

“I-I’m really sorry?! What is it?”

Good. I’m still the superior one in this relationship.

“You.. nevermind. I’m heading over to the office. Why did you not pick up?”

[“I was trying to focus on my work so..”]

“Whatever. I’m coming to the office now. Are you free for dinner later?”

[“Dinner? Did something go wrong during the meeting?”]

“No. It actually went really well. Thank you for helping me with the charts yesterday.”

Did he worry about my meeting? That’s a little relieving to know that he cares about.. wait no. What am I thinking?!

“Right.. Um. Let’s have dinner somewhere. There’s something I need to talk about.”

I must be insane to ask that demon for his advice but.. I don’t have anyone else to turn to. It’s impossible to mention my problems to people unrelated to this angel-demon conflict. Otherwise, I’d be afflicted with another penalty.

[“Um.. I’m sorry but.. I actually have my evening booked by..”]
“Who?”

[“Your boss..”]

So because I rejected my boss’ invitation, he’s going with Avner instead?

[“Pu’er?”]

“Nevermind. Some other day then.”

[“Y-Yeah.. apologies. If not, we could always talk on the phone or something..”]

“No. It’s quite personal so I don’t think it’s appropriate to talk on line like this. Just.. enjoy your dinner later.”

I hung up the call.

Angst filled my mind.

I really need someone to talk to..

..I’m scared.

Makech
icon-reaction-1