I am grateful for the three reviews I got for the last chapter!Since two were guest reviews , I can't personally reply to those ones , but thank you , I won't give up this story-besides , it is nearly finished
This chapter switches back to general 3rd person POV.
Shana glared down at Alastor, hanging around her neck.
"Do you really think that was the best way to start this?" She asked, her voice annoyed. Eika gave Shana a look.
"Who are you talking to?"
Shana pointed to the pendant hanging around her neck.
"Alastor, my contractor. He's a crimson lord, but he's in the form of a pendant for…that's beside the point anyway. The point is you know who and what he is."
Eika tilted her head, and regarded the necklace. Then she nodded.
"Then, nice to meet you, Arasu Toru –san .This means that you are not who you say you are, Shana-Chan?"
Yuji chuckled at Eika's pronunciation of the name, and said.
"Yes and isn't Yukari Hirai .She merely borrowed the real Hirai-san's existence .Sort of like having a new identity."
"The real Yukari Hirai was a torch. Her existence had been eaten." Shana added.
"Eaten?How can an existence be eaten? What do you mean an existence? "Eika was full of questions , and some of the aspects of her bouncy personality , the ones shown in her trying to get to know everyone showed up again.
For the next twenty minutes, Yuji, Shana, Alastor, Wilhelmina and Tiamat worked in turns , filling in the bare facts and filling the detail they thought Eika needed to know.
When they finished, Eika looked thoughtful.
"So…Yu-Chan won't disappear?"
" 're is stuck with me for a while!" Yuji smiled.
"So now, some questions for you, Ei-Chan." Kazumi said.
"Oh? "Eika looked at her. Kazumi had stated how she had gotten involved into the whole Flame Haze business, but said little else besides that.
" any of this ring bells? Even from the vague memories of preschool or something?"
Eika shook her head slowly, from side to side.
"Then the involvement must have been when you were a baby. "Alastor said.
"What?" All over again, Eika was majorly confused.
"We reckon the reason you can see and detect torches close to you, and also have an instinct as to when someone is merely using the torch as an identity, is because you are known as a Compassionate." Alastor said.
Wilhelmina added." The term comes from the fact is that these people can only detect it from people they are close to. Family, Friends, lovers, neighbours, role models. Those sorts of people."
"Love at its strongest..." Tiamat chimed in.
"Usually these people have had a Flame Haze encounter at an early age. They will have been in contact for a long time, and told a lot, and even involved in some way in a Flame Haze battle." Wilhelmina continued." However, at such a young age , they are unlikely to remember these things…but the knowledge remains …an instinct , if you like. A child does not remember how they learnt to walk, but they know that sometime in their lives they must have learnt a bit like that."
"Oh. There are more like me? "Eika wanted to know.
"Some get lucky, and go to work in Outlaw. A few become Flame hazes. Some just keep quiet about it , thinking they are cursed. Ghost stories have been made from many of these people, who did not know what they saw. And the unlucky few who try to speak out get branded as crazy, and their lives are psychiatric back- wards, pills and being forever shunned." Kazumi answered.
Eika's eyes were wide.
"You have the instinct, you now have the knowledge. What, Eika Takahashi, are you going to do with it?" Alastor asked her.
The question hung in the air, Eika clearly unsure how to answer .Then Chigusa came out into the garden, and the conversation turned to other things.
Eika looked at her phone ,where the screen was waiting for her to type in a text message.
She sighed, typing it in , all the while thinking about what she had heard that day.
"How come Aniki and Oga-Chan don't know about this?"
The reply came back rapidly.
"Not really my place to tell you the details, but Ogata-Chan got involved unwittingly with the flame haze business, and as a result, Tanaka-kun wants to keep her safe by keeping her ignorant. As for Ike-kun, would it really be fair if only one person in the group was kept out of the loop?"
"Thanks, Mii-chan." Eika turned off her phone and got out of bed. Time for was pretty obvoisu what her decision was. But she had a life to get on with.A happy life.
"Well, that's one year out of the way!"
"And we all passed. Even Satou and Tanaka..." Matake looked at Tanaka as she said this, and laughed as Tanaka pulled a face.
"You suggesting we're stupid?"
"Not at all, not at all." They all laughed.
"At least we can slack off for a month." Yuji added. "I intend to store up some sleep. When my baby brother or sister is born in July, sleep is probably something we won't get a lot of."
Eika walked, or, more accurately, bounced ahead , then turned and looked at them.
"Nah! You guys are all helping me." She announced, big smile.
They all looked blank.
"With what, exactly, Ei-Chan?" Hayato asked.
"Well, you know that my club are doing a fashion show for the school festival next year, so, I kind of need some models…"
"Oh no!" Keisaku shook his head and his eyes widened in mock horror "Oh no , tell me you didn't.."
Eika didn't even bother to looks sheepish. Infact , she appeared infinitely pleased with herself. "I've told them that you guys can be our models!"
The cries of protest that rang through the street were punctuated with laughter.
It was a normal day.
Well…I was attempting to drag this out into 2 chapters, but it didn't work out. Therefore , this story is now finished. Hope you are satisfied , all the same.
Thanks for reading , everyone who did.