Chapter 13:

Temperament

Spirit Containment Team 1201


Colette awoke the next day feeling wholly unsatisfied. Despite her intention to approach Drake about training with him, he passed out almost immediately after eating, Pandora explaining that his body had been working too hard, and simply needed rest. When she awoke the following morning at half past six, he was already gone, Gaia being the only remnant.

"He left early this morning, Allicity sent a message asking him to do something for her. He should be back by noon, can't imagine those two will be too rowdy this time." She said.

"Who are "those two"?" Colette asked absently, her mind focused on the mess of clothing she had left on the floor next to her bed.

"Well... it seems that two Deities are having a bit of a spat... Allicity thinks that Drake is a good option for calming them down as calmly as possible." Gaia explained slowly, obviously not perfectly certain of the details herself.

"And he took the others with him... but not you?" Colette asked.

"...No... they're with Dahlia, er... Ari... she's not Gifted, as I'm sure you probably gathered, but she still has quite the command over us, being our Master's sister and all."

At this, a question formed in Colette's mind, and, despite her initial apprehension, she decided to ask.

"You call him... Master, I suppose... but didn't he say that you all were like a family?" She said.

Gaia's pale face brightened at this.

"To you, as a human, the term "Master" is one used in reference to a person's owner or equivalent. To me... the term is one of respect... affection, honestly. Many a human has tried to win my powers and my partnership. But that man that you know as your Instructor is the only one who's ever brought about my desire to form a Contract. His unquestionable desire to never change who he is... I think that that's wonderful... I suppose you'll likely be exposed to it as you train and learn alongside him." She said.

Colette pushed forward with her train of thought as Gaia's explanation came to a close.

"So... was Cthulhu right? Do you actually love Drake?" She asked.

At this, Gaia wheeled around, hiding her face from Colette, although the latter was sure she had seen a blush on the Goddesses' just before her visage was out of view.

"Love is a subjective thing... you humans have a very straightforward idea of it... but I won't deny that Drake is precious to me... more precious than any other ever has been."

A not uncomfortable silence between the two of them, broken only by a yawn as Colette stretched herself languidly.

"I suppose he'll be returning soon, what exactly did you want to speak with him about?" Gaia asked.

"Oh! Right... I was interested in getting some combat training from him... and you, I suppose... considering that you're his Vanguard Goddess." Colette said.

"Indeed... you were rather proficient yesterday, obviously your time in the forest has made you somewhat of a warrior... I don't doubt that some training with him will improve your capabilities." The Goddess said with a smile.

Colette stretched again, another yawn slipping past her lips.

"Aries? What do you think of him?" She asked.

To the Goddess' surprise, a floaty, misty voice spread throughout the room.

"Oh... he's quite interesting... I think he'll be a good teacher for you..."

The voice was calm and thoughtful, and although its owner was unseen, the speaker was decidedly male.

"Oh! Do you regularly commune with him?" Gaia asked.

"Sometimes... we're not too familiar with each other just yet, but I think we get along." Colette said.

"I agree. I prefer peace and quiet, and Colette is calm and collected in most situations." The unseen Deity said.

"Well... it's good to see that you two are getting along, it'll be a boon for you as you learn to work together." Gaia said happily.

*BANG*

The entire world around them shuddered for nearly half a minute, the beds bouncing noisily against the floor, the carpets doing very little to cushion the sounds.

"What's happening?" Colette asked, steadying herself against the wall as the shaking stopped.

"Not sure... although it seems that Drake has returned." Gaia said.

Sure enough, even from the building, Drake's voice could be heard from outside, shouting something indistinguishable at a person or persons unknown.

"Yep, that's him. Wonder who or what he's ranting at?" Gaia said quietly. "Shall we go see?"

Wordlessly, they took their leave from the room, making their way outside to find their companion standing before two panting young women.

Both stood up, readying themselves to fight.

One was a short, thin woman with mahogany skin, dark hair, and light green eyes. She was pretty, and strikingly nude, the only bit of clothing covering her flesh being a thin bolt of cloth wrapped tightly around her groin. She was wearing a golden amulet that sported a lioness' head dangling at the end. In her hands was a long, thick staff that she looked to be wielding as a weapon.

The other was different from her ally, having a fair skinned body and light blue eyes. Her skin color, however, changed at her neckline, shifting immediately from pale to an almost inky black. Even stranger, the sides of her face where one would expect to see ears was empty, only flat flesh. Instead, she had two lightly-furred ears atop her head, rather similar in placement to those of a cat. She was also very scantily dressed, although the white cloth covered some of her upper thighs along with her groin.

This cat-like woman was the first to act, springing forward with a wild look of malice plastered to her face. A silver ball of light shot forward from her outstretched hand, which Drake palmed away, sending it careening out to the edge of the dimension, where it burst into a windstorm of energy that tore away some of the earthen area hanging against the edge.

With a swift movement, Drake snatched her by her wrist and twisted, hard. In what would have normally been an unbelievable feat, he popped the arm from its socket, leaving it limp and useless at the woman's side.

"Bastet!" Cried her companion.

"You're next... if you refuse to calm down." He growled.

The uninjured woman snapped back to attention, her once angered face now entirely pacified.

The woman, Bastet, turned to him with a look that seemed like something between a grimace and a grin.

"Alright... alright... I think we get it. I'll come... quietly. Tef... let's not be unreasonable here... even if we do manage to escape him, there are hundreds of Spirit Hunters around here..."

The other woman, who Colette had just realized was a Goddess, nodded without a word. Drake gave a long, shuddering sigh, then, turned to Gaia.

"You mind healing Bastet's arm?" He asked.

After ensuring that the Goddess' injured arm was fully fixed, Drake led them up to Allicity's office. The two Goddesses seemed rather pacified, even though Colette was sure that they had challenged Drake, and not the other way around.

Finally, the five of them were packed into the Headmistress' office, Bastet and Tef both stood front and center before her.

"You two again, huh? I swear, it's like neither of you have any common sense! If you don't want to Contract with someone... then don't. But you can't go around trying to kill them because they don't meet your standards." Allicity sighed.

Bastet spoke first, her mismatched pale and black skin turning slightly red as she did so.

"Humans who aren't worth our time should know better!" She spluttered indignantly.

"That isn't how it works, Bastet, not for you, not for Tefnut, not for anyone. Humans have the right to approach you with the intention of forming a Contract with you, just like you have the right to refuse."

Allicity's voice seemed measured, but the look on her face was one of pure exasperation.

"Then why did you send your little MONSTER after us?" Bastet challenged.

"Because I was hoping you'd listen to someone strong... that's what both of you want in someone who wants to Contract with you, right?"

"But he doesn't want to Contract with us..." Tefnut said blearily.

"That... is true, but he also doesn't want you running wild around the place either. If you're willing to respect that he doesn't want a Contract with either of you, can you also respect his other wish?"

The two Goddesses looked to one another, then to Drake. His face was pale and tired, and his eyes seemed to be begging the two to behave.

"Fine!" Bastet said. "But..." She started, turning to fully face him. "I'll be back."

"Back for what?" Gaia asked.

Bastet winked. "You'll see!"

At this, both Bastet and Tefnut disappeared with a *POP*.

"Well... that's that, I suppose." Drake said.


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