Chapter 7:

Affirmation

Spirit Containment Team 1201


This is a mini-update, a larger chapter should be up by this Friday.


Colette stirred slightly, one of her eyes opening to get a look at what time it may have been. Dark... she sighed a bit, internally. It still being dark didn't bode well for her sleeping schedule. She contemplated sitting up, but froze when she heard Cthulhu's voice from the other side of the room.


"Can't sleep?" He asked softly.


She nearly answered him, before realizing that he hadn't been speaking to her.


"No." Came Drake's groggy reply.


"You've been like this for a few days... what's wrong?" Cthulhu said.


Drake sighed, and a small glow bloomed from the other side of the room, him likely having turned on the lamp beside him.


"I felt it again... just like with you..." He said.


They sat silent for a moment, before Cthulhu spoke again.


"How long?" He asked.


"Three days... with you, it was two weeks." Drake answered.


"Can you tell... how many of them, I mean?"


"Just the one... it's like you said... they can only get one across at a time."


"Then why are you worried enough to lose sleep?"


Cthulhu's words had a bit of bite to them, as though he was chastising a child for drawing on a wall. More than that, however, his voice sounded concerned.


"What if I'm not strong enough for this one? How many people are going to be killed by its arrival? What if it's ready for me? What if I die... how is anyone going to fight back when they need to? I mean, sure, there are more and more Exceptions born each year... but it'll take them more than a decade to-"


With every syllable, Drake's voice rose in pitch and desperation, nearly coming to a peak before being silenced suddenly. Shifting slightly, Colette turned over to see Khione pressing her finger against his mouth.


"You are... by far... the strongest Spirit Hunter to ever live. It doesn't matter if you're up against one Aevator or a thousand. I will NEVER let one touch you. Never." Her tone was surprisingly shaky compared to how assertive was being.


From beneath the force of her finger, Drake gave a noise of appreciation, his lips turning upwards into a slight smile.


"Always the first to jump in for me... aren't you? That's why you're my Tank. I wouldn't trust anyone with my safety as willingly as you." He laughed.


Khione's face went from assertive right back to totally submissive in that single instant, her cheeks bright red and fully embarrassed. Drake's hand hooked into the collar of her armor, pulling her into a hug. To Colette's surprise, her armor seemed to be creaking under the pressure he was putting on it.


"Thanks, Khione... you always pick me up." He said.


She pulled away, trying as hard as she could to hide her face beneath her armored palms.


"Not as much as you do for me." She said.


Cthulhu coughed slightly, breaking their illusion of privacy. From Colette's position, she could see Khione blush even harder.


"Sorry to interrupt your flirting and all, but maybe we should discuss the Aevator that's on its way." He said.


"An Aevator!?" Colette shot up, startling Khione and Cthulhu.


"It's likely... don't look at me like that! I'm not going to make YOU fight it or anything. Thank you for joining us, by the way, Miss Eavesdropper." He laughed.


"How do you know it's coming?" She asked, completely skipping over his name for her.


He shrugged his shoulders.


"If I'm honest? Dunno, for some reason I felt a... pull... towards the edge of the school's grounds a for a while. Once he showed up... well, it didn't take long for me to piece things together." He explained.


"Can... others tell when an Aevator is on the way?" She asked.


"Well, my mom said something about feeling a little weird like three days before the Aevator showed up... although, she WAS two months pregnant with me at the time, so I'm not ruling that out as the cause... if anyone else CAN feel it like I do, I'm sure they'd have to be an Exception for it to really matter." He said.


"What makes you think that?" She asked.


"Well, think about it, Ungifted humans have naturally negative reactions to the presence of Spirits because they have whole, intact Souls. They have all of the energy they can take. Gifted don't, most commonly only having a half of a Soul. Exceptions don't have even the slightest ounce of a Soul anywhere inside of themselves. I don't think that it's a stretch to believe that maybe OUR bodies are attracted to the type of energy present in Spirits because it's similar. We might be unconsciously trying to fill the void that our lack of a Soul creates."


Colette considered this, looking deep within herself to see if she could feel anything that seemed off.


"I don't feel any different... does it not work for me?" She asked.


"Well... since you've only contracted with one Deity... you probably aren't as sensitive to the feeling as I may be. You might start feeling strange a few days before it arrives. On that topic... Cthulhu... do you think we could show her our fight? She might get a better idea of what it's like... that's my goal for these girls after all." He said.


"Sure. Colette, lie back down. I'll need you to be fully asleep before I can do my thing." The Demon said with a grin.


The notion of learning more about both Cthulhu and her instructor was an enticing one, enough so that she was willing to try and force herself back to sleep, despite not being at all tired at this point. Fortunately, sleep was rather merciful, pulling her back into a gentle slumber after a few minutes.


"Alright, let's get to it."