Chapter 63: It's Been a Long Day


“Do you wanna check out the Gymnastics gym?” Elena asked as he pushed down on my back to help me get a deeper stretch.

“Say yes! I wanna see what it’s like and see what you can do!!” Nori exclaimed in my head.

“Um, sure, we can do that. I don’t see why not,” I answer, “Can you push on my back a bit more please.”

"You'll be on the floor if I do that," Elena commented.

“I know, but I can’t really feel the stretch,” I comment and she sighs a bit and mumbles something under her breath but I couldn’t quite catch it but she leans on my more and my chest is against the floor.

Elena helps me finish stretching a bit more and I can do the rest myself. Once we finish with our stretching we grab our water bottles and bags then head to the gymnastics gym. It was in the same building but pretty much on the other end of the building. The door is open and I can hear people in there. My heart starts pounding the closer we get to the doors.

“You're nervous."

’Thank you for pointing that out.’

“You shouldn’t be nervous. You’ve got this. You’ve been doing this for so long it should be a cake walk to be able to get back into it.”

We walk up to the door and look in. There are a fair bit of students here, but they looked like they were about done with practice. Most of them were standing around talking while there were a few on the floor practicing and the balance beam. There were also some who were stretching or doing a cool down.

“Everything okay Noel?” Elena asked and I look over at her and smile with a slight nod.

“Yep, everything’s fine,” I laugh lightly.

“Hey! You two here to try out for the team!?” A male’s voice hit my ears and I looked back into the gym to see one of the guys walking over to me.

“Um…I-I mean we just wanted to see the gym…” my voice starts becoming quiet the more I talk.

“Noel used to be on the gymnastics’ team in his old high school,” Elena spoke up for me and put an arm on my shoulder.

“Really!! Why didn’t you come and sign up then!! Let’s see what you can do!! What’s your best section? Or are you an all-around gymnast?” The guy exclaims, “I’m Baxter the captain of the team. What're your names?"

“I’m Elena, I’m just here for moral support and to watch,” She said with a small laugh.

“N-Noel,” I answer as Baxter grabs my arm and pulls me into the gym. “B-But I left my uniform at home a-and I haven’t done an-anything for gymnastics in months,” I fumble over myself as I drug along.

“That’s okay, I wanna see what ya can do! You can borrow one of mine, we’re about the same height. So, tell me what was your favorite?” Baxter wasn’t taking no for an answer.

“U-Uneven bars b-but-” He cut me off.

"Then you'll show me what you can do on the uneven bars!! Elena if you wanna go and sit over there to watch you're more than welcome to! I'm going to take him to get changed into a singlet and shorts.” Baxter pointed over to a spot on the wall that has a clear view of the uneven bars and then I was drug into the locker room. It was quiet in the locker room because everyone was still out in the gym. Baxter let go of my arm and worked on his combination for his locker. “So how have you been since the bonding ceremony?” I blink a few times confused, “I remember seeing you there. You’re kinda hard to forget with your platinum blonde hair.” He chuckled.

“Y-you were there too?” I ask a bit dumbfounded.

“Of course, I was. I wouldn’t be asking you the question if I wasn’t now would I?” He chuckled, “You also went first. Aqil told me your partner is a noble, actually one of the ones from the domain that he lived in.” He popped his locker open.

“Nori and I have been doing just fine. We get along really well. What about you two?” I ask as he pulls out a black singlet and a pair of short shorts for me.

"Here, try these on," He handed them to me, "Aqil and I have been doing just fine as well. We've got the whole switching thing down.”

“Go to one of the stalls and get changed. I don’t want them seeing your mark.” I take them from him and head to one of the stalls to get changed.

“That’s great!” I comment and get changed into the singlet and shorts before grabbing my clothes and coming out of the stall. Baxter was leaning on the door frame that leads into the section with the stalls.

“I see that you didn’t let yourself go in the slightest considering you said you haven’t done anything with gymnastics in months,” He smirked at me.

“I haven’t been just laying on my ass. I do keep up with exercising, plus there’s training with Nori,” I answer, “And I had an accident in my senior year of high school so it’s been close to a year at this point that I haven’t done anything with gymnastics.” I start to mumble the last part.

“Don’t worry about it. It’s like riding a bike,” He slapped my back and went back to his locker and started digging around as I folded my clothes.

‘Do you know an Aqil at all?’

“I would probably know him if I see him. And if he would say his last name. Our family keeps as close of ties to everyone in our domain as we can. They respect us that way and we give them leniency, but we still rule over them and they respect us. But, now is not a good time for anyone to be switching considering it’s a locker room.”

‘Yeah, maybe we’ll be able to meet him again sometime and be able to see if you two know each other and have interacted while in the demon realm.’

“Sounds good to me.”

“I knew I had an extra pair!!” Baxter turned around and held out a pair of Uneven bar gloves to me. “Try these on and see if they fit.”

“Oh, thank you,” I set my clothes down on the bench and tried on the gloves. They fit pretty well. I had to adjust the strap but it was a comfortable fit. Once I had them on we walked out of the locker room and went to the uneven bars.

“Have you warmed up and stretched? I’m assuming so considering it looked like you were in the gym,” Baxter commented.

“Yeah, I’m good,” I answer with a nod as my heart pounds against my chest.

“Calm down, you’re going to do just fine.”

‘I know. It just, you know I broke both my ankles from landing wrong on the uneven bars after dismounting. I’m nervous I’m going to do it again.’

“Give it a try. You won’t know if you keep running from it and not giving it another go.”

Baxter talks with some of his teammates as I get chalk on my hands and the gloves. “So were you going to start from the lower or upper?” Baxter asked as I look over at him.

“I’m going to start from the upper,” I said with a smile, “Might as well see if I can do my old routine.” I walk up to the matt and take a slow breath in. As I exhale I raise my hands up to show that I’m about to go. I focus on the spring and uneven bar and I take those few long strides towards the spring and get myself up to the uneven bar and start my old routine. Jumping back and forth between the uneven bars I can still land the difficult releases. Making sure I breathe properly I go into my last rotation around the upper bar and then release. Doing two backflips in the air I get my feet under me and stick the landing.

“That was awesome!” Baxter exclaimed slapping my back. I look over at him and smile a little, “You still got it. I don’t know why you were so nervous.”

I laughed sheepishly, "It was just nerves getting the better of me I guess."

“You should totally join the team!!” One of the guys came up to me.

“S-Sorry, I don’t really have time between school work and the other club I’m in to try to take on a sport,” I said politely shooting down the offer.

“Don’t turn it down so quick man. Give it a thought,” Baxter patted my back once more. “We’ve gotta get packed up for the day and get ready for the meets that are tomorrow. Give it a thought and then come on back and talk to the couch.”

“I’ll think about it then,” I nod a little taking off the gloves and giving them back to Baxter.

“Sounds good. You can keep the Singlet, and shorts,” He walked back towards the locker room.

“Thanks,” I wave and then he spins on his heels and follows the rest of his teammates into the locker room.

“That was amazing Noel!” Elena exclaimed and I looked over as she walked over to me. I got off the mat and met her halfway.

“Thanks,” I can’t help but laugh and rub the back of my head.

“Can you teach me how to do that?” She asked and I looked at her shocked.

“Uuuuumm, s-sure, I don’t see why I can’t teach you the basics at least,” I say and she looks so happy. I take her over to chalk and have her chalk her hand. Making sure that she is careful because we don’t have any gloves like the ones that I used to do my routine. Then I took her to the lower bar and shower her a few very basic things on the bar before I let her get to the bar and try.

‘Elena asked me to show her how to do the uneven bars! I still can’t believe it!’ I stand back as she slowly swings herself around the lower bar, not letting her hips leave the bar.

“Why wouldn’t she? You’re really good at it Noel.” Nori commented in my head.

‘Well, I didn’t know if it was really something that someone would want to learn. I’m not the best teacher for this kinda stuff.’

Elena stopped herself upright before flipping over once more and letting her feet swing out and hit the matt below, which wasn't that far before she stood up straight but held onto the bar for support. "You okay?" I can't help but laugh lightly clearly seeing she was dizzy. I walk over to her just to make sure.

“I’m okay, just got dizzy,” She giggled back and smiled at me and gently swatted my hand away from her. “I don’t know how you do it without getting dizzy.”

“It’s a lot of practice and also it’s only spinning like that to get yourself enough momentum to get up to the higher bar. Then it’s used to help keep that momentum to be able to do a routine,” I explain as she pulls away from the bar but still wobbles like she got out of a pool so I put a hand on her back to help support her. She didn’t refuse it this time and I walk her off the mat and back to our drinks.

“It’s still so cool, though,” She sat down and grabbed her water bottle and I sat down in front of her after grabbing my own. “Do you want to get some lunch or go for a walk after we’re done?”

“I’m fine with going to lunch. We’ve been at working out and the what not for almost three hours anyways so we’ve probably burned off our breakfast,” I chuckle reaching up to my neck and gently scratching where the burn is. It’s healing so it’s starting to itch more than it was before.

"What's that?" Elena reaches towards me. Her fingers just grazing my Adam's apple when I lean back.

“It’s nothing, really,” I laugh sheepishly and she gives me a very dissatisfied pout. Pulling her hand back to her body and set down her water bottle and places a hand on the floor and starts to get up. But instead of standing up she pushes forward and closes the distance between us in an instant. Using the force that she had she pushed me and we went down rest of the way to the floor together. I feel my face heat up and my heart starts to pound as I stare up at her. Her warm body pressed against mine. Even with being sweaty her natural sweet scent pulls through and fills my sinuses. Her light blue eyes staring back at mine.

"It's nothing," She huffed propping herself up with one arm as the other pinned my free arm considering my right was between the two of us.

I can’t keep eye contact anymore and look off to the side, “I had a locator spell put on me last night.” I explain as I feel her fingers gently graze over the burn.

Her eyes widened as she looked down at me. Eevie must have explained what a locator spell was. “How? Who? Why?” She asked in a panic, “Does this have something to do with last night?”

Now it was my turn to stare at her in surprise. ‘How does she know about last night after she and Eevie went back inside?’

“Eevie probably sensed something, and we couldn’t sense her coming because of the Anise," Nori commented in my head.

There was absolute silence in the room. The gymnastics team has already left for the day, but I don’t know if they’ve left already for the meets. ‘I have no idea if exorcists have ears all over the place. Austin was drug off with Elena’s roommate today after breakfast when Elena and I were finished with breakfast and going to head back up to the dorm. But, that doesn’t mean that he can’t walk in any second.’ I wiggle my arm out from between us and put it on her back and bring her back down to full on top of me so I could whisper in her ear. "Last night after you and Eevie went in for the night Nori was shot with a bullet that had Anise on it," I whisper in her ear and she pulls away from me so she can look at me again. A look of absolute shock and worry spreading across her expression. I let me hand slip off her back and lay on the floor as I look back up at her. It was completely healed so now one could tell we have even shot thanks to Nori's healing ability and the stuff that Austin gave us last night. It was okay for us to wear the singlet and no one question. “When we were trying to switch, Austin caught us. We teleported away enough to finish switching and then Austin caught up with us again. He made me drink this weird yellow liquid that was the nastiest tasting thing, but it stopped the pain from the herb. After I could stand we walked back to the dorm and he placed a locator ring on Yun and then a level six version of the locator on me. When I asked him to take it off this morning so I could do my normal run he said I'll be fine and it'll just burn me a little because it was meant to keep me from leaving the building. But it burned me worse than he thought it would, so that's why I have the burn mark on my neck.” I finish explaining to her. I’m pretty sure it’s faded pretty well by now even though I haven’t had a chance to check.

She sat up on my stomach and crossed her arms under her chest “Where did you two get shot?”

"Left shoulder, the bullet went right through though so there's probably nothing there for mark wise on Nori."

She looks over at my shoulder and sighs heavily. Placing a hand gently on her forehead she shakes her head, “What are we going to do with you two?”

“Uuuummmm, I don’t know,” I laugh sheepishly looking up at her.

Sighing one more time she pats my chest before getting off me so I can sit up again, “We’ll think about what to do to punish the two of you for being reckless over lunch,” She comments standing up.

I sit up and stand up without using my hands “Oh! What kind of punishment?” Nori coos in my head.



“We should go and shower and get changed before we go to get food,” I answer with a light chuckle, “I’m not walking out in public in a singlet and short shorts.”

“Sounds good. Are the locker rooms still open in here?” She asks as she grabs the water bottles and her bag we head towards them.

"They should still be. And I hope so considering my gym clothes are in there," I puff out my cheeks a bit and then grab a hold of the door to the girl's locker room and pull. It comes open perfectly fine. "Your good!"

“And you?”

“Honestly if it is locked Nori can teleport us in there.” She frowns at me and I tense up a little, “What?”

"It's nothing. Go take a shower, you smell sweaty," With that, she walked into the girl's locker room.

I shake my head and pull on the boy's locker room door. It's unlocked so I head in. My stuff was still on the bench where I left it. ‘Shit. My warm-up is in Elena's bag.'

“You can get it from her before you leave. It's meant to go to your gym clothes, anyways right?”

‘Yeah, but so is my towel, so I can’t take a shower.’

“We can teleport back to the dorm and take a shower then come right back.”

‘But I think they would notice, wouldn’t they?’

“If they do then we just explain to them that we forgot that your stuff was in her bag. It’s not like they can get mad over that.”

‘True. Alright, we’ll do that.’ I do a mental with Nori just to be safe and he takes us back to the dorm. ‘Shit, Yun is in Elena’s bag.’

“He knows better and with him being with them will be fine. We’ll just grab stuff and head back.”
Austin wasn’t in the room so Nori ran into the closet and grabbed a towel and my shampoo and body soap before grabbing my bag and tossing it in there. Slinging it over his shoulder we teleport back over to the locker room. Thankfully no one was there and we switch back so I’m in control of my body and we go to take a shower. "One of these times you should let me in control so I can shower you," Nori commented and I felt my fact head up. I wasn’t expecting him to say that to me. It’s been a while since he flirted with me like that. He must have gotten the reaction he wanted because he started laughing in my head as I got dried off and dressed. Tossing the singlet and shorts into my bag with the towel and shampoo and body soap I then leave the locker room in my gym clothes and wait for Elena. I heard a scream from the locker room. Without thinking I run over and into the locker room.

Elena was standing at her bag holding her shirt up to her up against her body hiding her bra and undies from view. “Elena, is everything okay?” I ask sounding slightly panicked.

"YUN, YOU PERVERT GET OUT OF HERE!" Elena screamed and then she looked up and her face turns a dark shade of red. "GET OUT OF HERE NOEL AND TAKE YUN WITH YOU!!" She screamed as Yun came flying over to me and landed in my hand as I get my warm-up pants and jacket whipped at me and they smack into my face.

“I’m sorry,” I quickly turn and we leave the locker room before I can get something worse thrown at me.

“But I didn’t look at anything I swear. I was napping in the bag and she grabbed me with your clothes and I fell out and she screamed. I wasn’t peeping,’ Yun was practically crying in his high-pitched voice.

“It’s okay Yun, I’m not mad at you,” I gently pet his cotton before setting him up on my shoulder and setting down my bag so I can get into my warm up. “Why don’t you chill in my pocket.”

“Okay, I’m really sorry, I swear I wasn’t peeing,” He was really upset. Before he could go into my pocket I grab him and make him turn back into his little human form. Bringing him up to my cheek I hold him there and give him a hug.

“Don’t be sorry. I know you wouldn’t do that, it’s okay Yun,” I feel him hug my cheek back.

“Thank you master Noel,” He let go of my cheek and I pulled him away and opened my hand so he could change back to his cotton form and then he floated into my jacket pocket before I grabbed my bag and sling it over my shoulder.

Elena comes out of the locker room her cheeks still a light shade of pink spread across them. “Come on, we’re going to Terra Cotta for lunch and you’re paying.”

“Okay, fair enough,” I nodded and followed her quickly. “I’m sorry,” I apologize my voice coming out a lot quieter than I originally planned.

“It’s fine. You’re buying lunch,” She answered.

I didn’t know what else to say so it remained quiet between the two of us for the walk out of campus and into town to get to Terra Cotta. It was a nice little place. I got an Italian Ice and a chicken Cesar wrap with an apple and Elena got a mocha and a salad. Once we got our drinks we sat down at a close by table to wait for our food. The apple was already pre-sliced so I opened my bag and set it in my bag getting close enough for Yun to hop in my bag and eat. We got our food and ate and talked about random things. Once we were done we grabbed our bags and headed back to the dorm.



Noel waved goodbye to Elena and heads out of the stairwell and to the room. The door is unlocked when he turns the nob and walks in. Austin's sitting at his desk and working on his computer. He stops and looks up when we close the door behind us. Yun flies out of Noel's bag and passes his line of vision.

“How was the gym? Did you two end up checking out the gymnastics gym too while you were out?” He asked leaning back in his chair as Noel put his bag down and took out his shorts and the gymnastics suit the guy said we could have.

“We did. The gymnastics club was still there, but they looked like they were pretty much done for the day. One of the members give me their old suit to put on and I finally went back on the uneven bars. The captain asked me to think about joining the club,” He answered.

“No incidents with the fluff ball?” Austin commented.

"Cotton puff," Yun retorted and then poofed into his human-sized form, "I'm impressed you didn't come find us after whatever Alexa pulled you away for."

“Considering you two were with Elena, I figured you wouldn’t try anything stupid in front of a human unless it was necessary,” He sighed and looked back at his laptop and then saved whatever he was doing and shut it. “You up for a walk?”

"Go for it. I don't see why not. You only have your edits you have to do with your paper. I would keep on your toes those in case he tries something." I comment to Noel.

“Sure, we can do that,” Noel nods. Austin gets up and throws his shoes on.

“You’re coming too. No fucking way am I letting off everyone’s buzzer that there’s a demon in my room,” Austin points at Yun.

“I wasn’t going to let Master Noel go with you alone in the first place,” Yun snickered and poofed back into his cotton form and floated over to Noel and buried himself in Noel’s hoodie.

“I’m surprised you’re not on patrol or something,” Noel comments as Austin grabs his keys and wallet.

“That was earlier. I’m allowed to do what I want for the rest of the day. Come on,” He motioned for us to follow. We locked the door behind us.

"If anything seems suspicious I'm getting us out of there. Wither we do a full switch or a part I don't care." I state.

‘Alright. I understand.’ Noel agreed without a second thought as they two of them left the dorms and they started towards the trail that Noel always takes to go up to the meadow. Listening quietly, I tried to sense if there was anyone following us. It doesn't seem like it so it's not a setup. At least not right now.

“How long have you been able to see demons and the other side?” Austin asked after they hit the trail in the woods.

“I’ve always been sensitive to that kinda stuff,” Noel answered simply like it was nothing.

“Why is it that only you in your family is half demon?”

“I don’t really want to answer that,” Noel answered.

“Not like we can anyways. If we did off with my head pretty much.” I comment leaning back in the blank space around me.

“Why not?” Austin asks.

“What about you? You said you come from a strong line of exorcists. How long have you been able to see demons and what not? You didn’t know that Yun was in the room for a couple of weeks before you started hearing a squeaking sound.” Noel shot back at him.

He looked away from Noel and was quiet for a few minutes before looking back at us, "It wasn't until the day that Sam was possessed that I started to see things. I thought it was a little weird that I was seeing black specks going towards Sam, but I just thought I had floaters in my eyes, but they weren’t. A couple of days after that incident, the exorcist group found me and took me to their club and I started there. Things were coming naturally to me and I was able to accomplish things a lot faster than even the older students. I was told that with my abilities I would have no problem taking out the demons that roam around. I don’t want one of my friends to be possessed again and have someone have to save me.”

“Like I said, not all demons are evil,” Noel stated at the end of Austin’s speech, “I understand wanting to protect your friends, but have you ever felt like maybe they’re using you for something?” We make it up to the meadow. It was peaceful and quiet up here.

“There have been a few times where I’ve felt like that yeah. They keep a fair bit from me too. All I’m told is that demons need to be exterminated no matter the cost,” He stated.

“So, then why didn’t you exterminate us without a second thought?” Noel asked very bluntly.

Austin looked at us in shock and then looked away, “Because, you’re my roommate and my best friend.”

It fell silent between them other than the rustling the trees and making the leaves fly off. “Noel, switch with me real quick.”

‘Sure.’ We switched places and I walked over to Austin and put a hand on his shoulder. He looked up at me and jumped a bit.

"Don't do that Noel, for fuck's sake. Are you trying to draw exorcists here?" He hissed at me.

“Don’t worry, unless there’s a high priest around somewhere, they aren’t going to be able to sense me. Strong demons can hide their presence just like how that charm hides yours.” I let my hand slide off his shoulder, “And the bigger they are doesn’t mean the stronger they are.”

“I know that. I’m not stupid,” He retorted.

“Then tell me now, what rank of demon is Yun?” I question him.

Austin’s eye twitched and he clenched his fist tight and looked away from me, “I don’t know okay, a low ranking one? He’s small and doesn’t seem all that powerful. He doesn’t give off that big of a presence.”

"Wrong, cotton puffs are an upper-class demon that falls under nobles, with nobles being the top class. Cotton puffs are a weapon type demon who serve the nobles and become their weapon. The cotton puff and a noble that they accept as their master create a strong bond that cannot be severed. Being a holy blade their soul was once that of a child who lost their life too soon. If an angle does not find them their soul will naturally find its way to the demon realm and start on a journey make it to the cotton puffs. There they take on their new form and are purified into cotton with the magic to transform into a human form once again. There they stay and develop their abilities until the elder of their clan sends them to a noble family that they feel would be well suited to have them as an ally,” I explain to him.

“I-I didn’t know…” He muttered staring at me wide eyes in utter shock.

“There’s a lot you don’t know. There’s a lot that the ones who are teaching you don’t know and are wrong about a fair bit of it,” I sigh and cross my arms.

“So that means, you’re a noble class doesn’t it, because you have a cotton puff,” His voice came out as practically a whisper.

“That’s right,” I answer simply with a small nod.

“There you are!” My ears perk up and I turn to my left and practically got tackled as Ken’ichi hugged me. “You three weren't in your room so I had to go on a mini-hunt to find you.”

“Ken, what are you doing here?”

“One of us was going to come check up on your three once a week or don’t you remember that conversation that father had with you and Noel last week?” I look away from him, ‘That conversation slipped my mind actually.’ Noel started chuckling in my head.

“Of course, you did.”

‘Shush you.’

"Yep, there's that look, you forgot," Ken'ichi laughed, "Oh right I also came to show you, someone!"

“W-who is this Noel?” Austin stuttered and I looked over at him to see him shaking. It’s more than likely from Ken’ichi’s presence.

Clanging up at Ken he looks from me to Austin, “So you can see us. Also, this isn’t Noel, this is Nori. Both of them are their own separate person,” Ken comments letting go of me and walking towards him. It was like Austin was glued to his spot on the ground. He wasn’t moving or backing away. But I could sense how terrified he was of Ken the closer he got.

“Nori!” Noel shouted in my head and I teleported over to them and we switched right after I got out of the teleport Noel got between them and he put his hands up, “Noel, please move.”

“Hold up a minute Ken’ichi, please,” Noel begs.

"Master Ken'ichi told you to move human," A black cotton puff came flying out from Ken'ichi's kimono and got in Noel's face. The little guy has two tails with two mint green heart-shaped bells attached to him.

“Jordan, you do not speak to Noel in that manner. He may be human but he is one of my little brothers. You will show him respect just like everyone else,” Ken commented in a very strong voice.

“I’m sorry master. I was not informed,” Jordan shrunk away from me.

“Anyways, Noel I need you to move please,” Ken said once more.

"Can you lower the pressure you're putting on him. He's going to collapse if you keep it up much longer Ken, please," Noel asked him. Out of the two of us, Noel was the one that he would listen to more. And like I thought with a heavy sigh and a click of his tongue he did what Noel asked, “Thank you.”

Noel and I switched again and I turned around when I heard Austin hit the grass. He was on his hands and knees and breathing heavily. There was a poof behind me but I didn’t pay attention to it which one was transforming. “And the young masters considering this thing a best friend, how pathetic,” Jordan scoffed.

I place a hand on Austin’s back before turning around on my toes and giving a very much resting bitch face at him and releasing my pressure on him and forcing him down to his knees, “You ever disrespect mine and Noel’s friends again I’ll run you through understood?”

“Y-Yes sir,” Jordan stuttered his mint green eyes wide in shock and his body shaking under my pressure. He wasn’t a bad looking kid. Messy medium length black hair that helps bring out his eyes more. His deep blue kimono fades into a purple that makes the white stitching pop. He wears the right side of his kimono down exposing the wrapping that’s covering his chest. A maroon belt holds his kimono up and separates it from his blue-gray warrior pants that stop at his mid-calf and his two tails with this mint green heart-shaped bells lay motionless on the ground on both sides of him.

I pull my pressure back in and take a deep break and the smile, “Good I’m glad we understand each other.”

“Way to terrify him into submission there, Nori.”

‘Gotta do what I gotta do.’

I turn back to Austin, “I told you to respect them,” Ken’ichi sighed in disappointment behind me.

Yun comes out of my kimono and looks up at Austin, “You okay?” He asked in his higher pitched voice.

“I-I-I,” He stuttered.

"Come on kid it that wasn't even a quarter of my fear," Ken'ichi said coming over and squatting down. I look over at him and he grabs the back of Austin's shirt and pulls him up to his feet.

I stand up myself pat Austin’s back, “Austin, this is my older brother Ken’ichi. Ken this is Noel’s roommate and best friend Austin.”

“C-can one of you please explain to me what’s going on? Why did you say they’re separate? How are they separate? They are both in the same body. Isn’t Noel half demon and he can transform into him?”

Ken’ichi started laughing at Austin’s statement, “You never told him?”

"I'm not allowed to," I hissed, "If either of us says anything about it I'm ripped away from Noel and I'm the one that's killed. And at this point, I don't know if we can be separated from each other and I don't want to find out."

“I’m confused, but we knew about the bonding and we talked about it when you came home a few weekends ago.”

“We did not. You were given the details of it before I even came home.”

"Right…we just talked about you and Noel switching during the match the night before," Ken said in an "ah-ha" type of tone.

“This is not answering my questions,” Austin groaned.

I look up at Ken and he looks down slightly at me and sighs, “I want to hear it from both of you before I say anything.”

I look over at Austin ‘What do you think Noel? Do you think we can trust him?’

“He’s helped us out of a couple of tight spots and dealt with Yun with as frustrated with all the cotton that he was. I think we can trust him.” Noel answered me.

“I’m okay with it,” I nod and then Noel and I switch places once more.

"I'm fine with it too, but," Noel looked at Austin, "If Ken' Ichi tells you, you can't say a word. I also want that necklace off and destroyed."

“If I take it off then my scent will go everywhere and demons will come after me.”

Ken snorted, “Please, your standing next to two nobles, do you really think a demon will even attempt to come after you?”

Austin looked at the two of us and then sighed and took off the necklace. Holding it in his right hand he squeezed it a couple of times and then baseball whipped it into the closest tree shattering it, "There, happy?" He sighed and turned back around.

“You smell like high concentrated grapes,” Ken comments raising an eyebrow.

“Can we not talk about how I smell like a pixie stick please as my natural scent,” He groans feeling defeated.

“Why would you have a concealing charm in the first place,” Ken glanced over at Noel for a second and then did a double take and pulled down the collar of Noel’s hoodie to get a better look at his neck, “Why is there a level six locator spell lightly burned into your skin?” Noel’s gaze shifted from Ken to his right then back to Ken, “Tell me.”

"Last night was Halloween, a bunch of exorcists was out and we knew that I went out to a party, well I let Nori go to it because I'm not a huge crowd person and we teleported back up to the rough after we were done there for the night and Nori and Yun were talking about how much fun it was and then out of nowhere Nori got shot in the left shoulder with a bullet that had Anise oil on it. He teleported down but it cut the jump short and we crashed down to the ground. He got us a little further away and when we were in the middle of switching so whoever shot us wouldn’t be able to find us and Austin found us instead. We teleported away from him and were able to finish the switch and he found us again.” Noel said and had to take some breathers from talking so fast.

“And I threatened him and he gave me three reasons not to exorcise him and then I gave him an antidote to the Anise and something that would help dull the pain. After he could walk we went back to the dorm and to make sure he didn't leave the dorms for the rest of the night I put the locator spell on him and Yun. He wanted to go for a run and I was too tired to take it off so I told him to go with it on and it burned him. I didn't know it was gonna do that and I took it off right away and helped with what I could to make it better." Austin finished for us and before Noel could snatch Ken’s wrist he had already grabbed Austin’s shirt and twisted it around his fist and lifted him up off the ground so he was eye level with him, “I-I’m sorry. I-I know it doesn’t make up for it, but I don’t know what I can do to make up for it.”


‘Right.’ We switch places and I place a hand on Ken’s wrist and look at him, “Put him down.”

“He’s an exorcist you two. You know what will happen if father finds out that your friends with one? He’s going to kill him on the spot that’s what’s going to happen,” My older brother hissed as me his ears going back showing me his fangs.

“I know, but please,” I beg him and he glares at me for a moment before clicking his tongue again and dropping Austin. "For fuck's sake," He mumbles, "Jordan."

"Yes, master?" He floats around in him. Not a single word was spoken out loud between them. “I understand master.” A mint green light engulfed his black, little cotton body and launched towards Ken and between his fingers was a white paper in the shape of a talisman.

"What are you doing?" I ask and he spins is a then slaps it against Austin's chest. A ripple effect appeared in front of Austin and then the Talisman sunk into his shirt.

Austin pats his chest and pulls up his shirt to look at his chest to see that there’s an outline of the Hira clan symbol on his chest before it fades to where it’s barely noticeable. “What did you do?” He asked a bit of panic in his voice. Jordan popped up behind him and walked around so he was then standing next to Ken once more.

“You are now under the Hira clan. Anything that we tell you, you are not allowed to speak about. And if you being to talk about it to any other exorcist then you will instantly be brought back to whoever the closest Hira is to you. If there is no one close by you will be teleported back to the room,” Ken explained to him crossing his arms. “Others cannot see this mark even if you try to show it to them. It will also serve as a replacement for your charm and help keep that scent of yours down, but will not hinder the growth of your soul or abilities.”

“Won’t the teleporting be suspicious? I’m sure they’ll think I’m possessed or something if that happens and then they’ll come and try to get the demon out of me,” Austin pointed out.

“Then don’t say anything and it won’t happen. Look at it this way, in a way your like Yun and Jordan. You’re bound to the clan; their symbols are just more predominate than yours is. But, now that that’s out of the way, I can get back to what our conversation was about before. Nori is pure blood third heir to the Hira clan, one of the six noble clans that rule over the demon realm. Noel is a human who was quite sensitive to his sixth sense before meeting Nori. Without telling anyone in the family, Nori sighed up to bond with a human. Taking the traits of the demon the council then finds the best match for the demon. Then the humans are brought to the council in the demon realm and they are given the choice to bond with the demon or not. If the human accepts then the bonding ceremony takes place. The demon places a mark on their human and then the demon is absorbed into the human’s body they then perform their first switch and it seals the bonding contract." Ken'ichi explains for us, but he also keeps his voice low so we cannot be heard. "Now, normally the bonding process takes months to years for the human to being to tap into their demon’s abilities. But, since Nori is a pureblood and with Noel already having a heightened sixth sense that you humans practically made yourselves lose thousands of years ago, their bonding is happening at an accelerated rate. It’s actually at the point where they two of them are beginning to affect each other. We also asked by the council to keep an eye on them just to be safe. So, that is also going to be one of your jobs, is to look after the two of them and make sure something doesn't go wrong. If something does happen wither it be from the bonding or something else that is life-threatening and you are close by to them all you will have to do is grab a hold of them and both of you will be teleported to the Hira manor in the demon realm.”

It was quiet between all of us as we stood in the meadow as the sunset. Austin was looking down at his feet and clutching onto his shirt where Ken just placed the family crest. “I wonder what he’s thinking. I feel really bad for him being thrown into this position.”

‘Right, one minute he’s an exorcist that’s excelling at everything he’s taught and the next he’s forced into practically being a servant to the clan.’

“We’ll have to find a way to make it up to him.”

‘I agree, but what can we do?’

“I’m not too sure yet.”

Ken put a hand on Austin’s shoulder and patted him a few times to get him to look up, “You have a very strong soul and you’ll go far. Noel and Nori will teach you that there are good demons and bad demons in the world. Don’t look so down, it’s not the end of the world.” His hand slipped off Austin and he placed his hand on my head, “I’m going to head back home. You guys get back to the dorm and rest. Aiko or I will be here next week to check up on you.”

"Sounds good. I'll see you later then," I nod and with a pat, him and Jordan vanish. I look over at Austin and he’s still clutching onto his chest and standing in his spot. “Nori…” I nod and the two of us switch without him having to finish the sentence.

“Austin…” He starts and reaches out to him but gets his hand smacked away.

“I don’t want to hear it. Whatever pitiful excuse you have, just no,” Austin brought his arms in and hugged himself as he looked away from us.

Noel sighs and walks over to the tree that shattered the charm that he was wearing, “Was the charm anything that was important other than bringing down your scent?” He asked picking up the pieces.

“It held no value to me. It was just something that I was given. I was told it’ll cover my scent so I won’t be attacked by demons and it’ll help draw out my full potential as an exorcist,” He didn’t sound all that happy with that response.

“Why did you want to be an exorcist?” Noel asks.

"Like I said, I was told I come from a strong line of exorcists and on top of it, I don't want to be the one that has to be saved. You saved me once and I couldn’t do anything to help. I don’t want to do it again. I don’t want to be a pathetic waste of space,” Noel walked back over to him with the pieces of the old charm.

“You’re not a pathetic waste of space. If that’s what you think you are then what does that make me?” That caught Austin’s attention and he looked up at him, “The only thing I was good at before I was with Nori was gymnastics and making a fool of myself be being an absolute klutz. I would always forget to tie my shoes, fumble over my words and keep quiet. And being with you, Nori, Elena, and Alexa has brought me out of my shell more. You’ve saved me from being killed twice already on top of letting Yun stay even though he was pissing you off with the amount of shedding he was doing. Now, please, let us be the ones that help you. Let’s work together and become that team that we wanted to do for the boffer club.” Noel tells him.

Austin stays quiet as he looks down at the charm that’s in Noel’s hand, “I don’t even know what to do. I thought humans and demons couldn’t get along and that they were only trying to devour souls to become stronger and come and take over the human race. That’s what I was told.”

“Of course, humans and demons can get along. Look at me and Nori. Look at the anime Blue Exorcist. I think we can handle this,” Noel comments with a smile. ‘Let’s do a partial.’

“Sounds good to me.” We mentally switch places and I put a hand on Austin’s shoulder, “Let’s go back. It’s getting dark.”

He looks us in the eyes and his eyes widen as he looks at us, “Who’s in control? Why did your eyes change?”

“Side effect of doing partial switches with us. It’s Nori for the one in control right now,” I chuckle and slap his back, “Don’t worry you’ll get used to it. Did you want me to take us back to the room or do you want to walk?”

“I think I’d rather walk,” He didn’t seem like he particularly liked the sound of being teleported.

I shrug, “Suit yourself. We’ll walk then.”

We start walking and I stop when I feel the presence of a portal opening, “What’s wrong?”

I turn around and look out at the middle of the field, “There’s a portal opening in the middle of the field…but why?”