Bam doesn't understand. He knows that girl was Rachel. She's trying to go up the Tower without him; trying to reach the sky and the stars. But he still doesn't get it. He doesn't care about the beautiful sky and the stars, the freedom. He cares more about Rachel than all of those stupid things.
"Shall we go to class, Bam?"
Bam nodded at Evolet. Walking to class, a thought crossed Bam's mind. She's always been by her side, excluding the days Rachel was there. He wonders how such a coincidence happen. Rachel was his star. What does Evolet mean to him? Evolet smiled at him, and he stopped pondering about it. She's still by his side, and that's enough. He thinks he truly is lucky to have her beside him.
The teacher of the Wave Controller class was named Yuga. He started his class, explaining the basics of Shinsu as the regulars listened attentively.
Shinsu is the world itself. Shinsu helps us breathe and live life. Also, it is the core of all energy. We can't do anything without Shinsu. Shinsu can be water, fire, or light. It can change in infinite ways. There is no word that can perfectly describe this fantastic element. It is like the blessings of God. Controlling Shinsu is like interrupting the role of God. Because it is so powerful, it is very dangerous to control the Shinsu.
"I can kill all the regulars here within five seconds. Isn't that scary?" The teacher said jokingly.
The regulars kept a mental note to keep their guard around this teacher.
As controlling Shinsu is so dangerous, in order to use it without any special item, you need to get permission from the floor's Administrator. You can already use the items without permission because they were already permitted by the Administrators at the Workshop after they were made. But if you're using more than a specific amount of Shinsu, it's a different story. You should get permission from the Administrator. This is generally called "The Contract with the Administrator". This contract must be done in the same way on every floor. Or else, you'll be restricted when controlling the Shinsu.
"Mr. Laure and Ms. Evolet. You both already contracted with the Floor Administrator, didn't you?"
Laure spoke the truth when he answered "... Well, yes." Evolet uttered a lie with a straight face when she replied, "Of course, Yuga-sensei."
"I guess you're the type who reads Shinsu while sleeping." That was directed to Laure who was cocooned in his blanket comfortably, his pillow never far from him.
"Oh… I just love sleeping…" And he went right back to sleep.
"Well, ok. I guess there isn't anyone else who has made a contract with the Administrator, so let's learn how to contract with the Administrator. First, close your eyes."
The regulars did so, with the exception of Laure and Evolet. "And change the Pocket into visible mode. The E-grade pocket that was given when you entered the inner Tower allows you to make a contract with Administrators of the floors up to 40th. In order to contract with Administrators above the 40th floor, you need to buy a higher rank Pocket. And now, say to the Pocket, "contract with the Administrator".”
While the other regulars were meeting with the Administrator in their consciousness and Laure was sleeping, Yuga struck up a conversation with Evolet.
"Ms. Evolet, from what I saw during the Crown Game; you are a support type Wave Controller aren't you?"
"Yes, my Shinsu isn't really suitable for offense but its strong point is in defense and support."
"Very well, I'll keep that in mind during class training."
"Ah, one more thing, Yuga-sensei. I've passed through the Anima class so please keep the two spots open for the others."
"Anima class… So it will be then." Yuga replied. He certainly seems entertained by the fact that she had passed through the Anima class. He was curious what kind of Shinheuh she controls, would she be a good opponent? But he was here on a mission. His curiosity will have to wait for another day.
One by one, the regulars completed their contract. Evolet frowned as she realized that Bam was the remaining regular, yet to complete his contract. Her worries were needless. Bam snapped open his eyes soon enough, panting from exhaustion. The lesson ended there for the day, since the regulars were tired from making the contract.
That didn't apply to Bam. Evolet knows in the little time she has left, she needs to support Bam with all that she has. Hence why both of them are in Bam's room right now. Evolet told him that she was going to teach him about Baang. She told him to take out the sphere she gave him yesterday, and explained to him how to make one. They were sitting cross legged, facing each other.
"Bam, hold out your hands."
Bam offered his hands without any hesitation, and Evolet placed her hands under his palms.
"Since it's your first time making a Baang, I'll support you. Listen Bam, just like what Yuga-sensei said; Shinsu is the world itself. Imagine, the whole world has gathered to become a circle in your hands."
The whole world… gathered in my hand to create a circle…?
Shinsu started gathering in Bam's hands, slowly but surely forming a sphere. Evolet smiled, she knew Bam had the potential for this. The Baang was still small, but that was fixed by Evolet who transferred more Shinsu into the Baang and enlarged it. Bam felt a pleasant shiver up his back when Evolet did that.
"I added some of my Shinsu and enlarged it. This is the size of a typical Baang."
This is Eve's Shinsu? It felt warm and… protective? Almost as if… nothing can hurt me.
The Shinsu swirling in their hand, and they both appreciated the silent moment. Evolet smiled mischievously when she saw that Bam was still in awe at the Baang. She'll let him enjoy it first before she moves on to the next topic. After a good amount of time, Evolet decided it's time to talk about the Baang she gave Bam yesterday.
"So… What is this Eve?"
"It's a Baang that I made. Or at least it's something resembling a Baang. You can use it normally… but not for attacks. Only use it for support and defense techniques okay, Bam?"
Bam never questions what Evolet tells him. He always accepts it unconditionally, trusting her with all he has. So he nodded, taking what she said to heart. The lesson continued; concentration training, basic attacks, reading Shinsu flow, and meditating. They stopped an hour before dinner. Bam was tired no doubt, panting and sweating on the floor. Evolet chuckled at the sight, proud of him. She patted his head and helped him sit properly. She asked for his hands, caressing them lightly and giving a boost of Shinsu that refreshed Bam instantly. Bam thinks he can never cease to be amazed at Evolet for every new thing she shows him. She tells him to take a rest and prepare for dinner, going back to her room with a promise of seeing him again during dinner. Bam couldn't be happier with all his new friends. But it still lingers in his mind, if only Rachel was there too.
The next day, Bam displayed marvelous results in class; the basics he needed to learn already taught by Evolet who was smiling with satisfaction as she watched him. He's not aware, but she feels the jealousy rising from a horned regular. He must be jealous, she thinks. A class with only two slots to pass. A member from the 10 Great Family guaranteed to pass and another regular that showcased amazing abilities that was sure to take the remaining spot. It must feel so unfair to him. She tries to keep him away from Bam, hoping to shield him from experiencing a betrayal this soon. Bam was too kind and friendly… He gets acquainted with the horned regular named Hoh soon enough even with Evolet's subtle precautions.
Evolet could only sigh. If it comes down to it, can she protect him? She thought no, for she has little time left with him, with them; her new friends. She hopes the Baang she gave Bam was enough to keep him safe and for him to protect what he cherishes.
On the third day, the three of them were in Bam's room. Rak had apparently "went back to the wild" from what Khun had said, so it was only the three of them. They were telling how their day went, taking the time to relax. They were interrupted by a knock on the door. When they opened the door, Shibisu and Hatz were standing in the hallway. Inviting them in, it was revealed that they came here to be friends. Or rather, they needed people to sign on their friend list for the Scout class' assignment.
"Make ten friends in a week? Scouts get weird homework, huh?" Khun said, briefly looking at the paper before he continued.
"So… You're asking me to be friends with you? I don't want to."
In a nutshell, Shibisu was desperate. "Hey! Why not?! I heard that you love making friends."
"Who said that?" Khun asked, unimpressed.
"That jerk… But first of all, you're on the team with the Lizard who took the Black March from Bam! Do you think we'll help you?"
This time Hatz was the one who spoke. "I also believe that it conflicted with the spirit of swordsmanship. I'll apologize on her behalf. And the teams were disbanded after the crown game, so she has nothing to do with me anymore."
But of course Khun always finds something to retaliate with. "Now that she's not on your team, you'll have nothing to do with her; huh? Is that your spirit of swordsmanship? To throw away someone who was once your teammate? That's evil."
"I'm just talkin about the right path of a swordsman. And by the way, you're narrow-minded."
Sparks were flying around Khun and Hatz. "Yes, yes. Let's stop around there shall we? Khun-san, don't provoke them. Shibisu-san and Hatz-san, please don't respond to his provocation either. Let's talk about this civilly over a cup of lavender tea shall we?"
True to her words, Evolet was holding a tray of tea cups and teapot. Khun looked over to Bam only to find that he was sitting on a chair, sipping a cup of said tea with a blissful face. Shibisu was dragging Hatz to the table, and Khun wasn't going to dispute with Evolet over a trivial matter so he followed suit.
"First things first, why don't we get to know each other?"
Khun took the initiative to introduce himself, slightly flaunting his family status in the process which… of course didn't sit well with Hatz. Hatz countered, saying the information about Khun's family was as useless as his earrings. Shibisu had to restrain Khun so that he doesn't lunge at Hatz. And when Hatz introduced himself, the reverse of earlier happened. Khun mocked Hatz's talk about spirits and seppuku. At this point Evolet deemed it too troublesome to deal with them and went over to Bam, patting his head to relax herself. Bam wasn't about to complain, and instead he indulged in it. Shibisu swears he could see the background behind Khun and Hatz turn into storm and lightning.
Deciding the squabble had gone long enough, Bam decided to step in and introduced himself while Evolet went to look over the window. As Bam's short life story managed to get the boys' to cooperate and sign the friend list, Evolet was… failing to comprehend why Rak was dangling on a rope. Or was he climbing??? In the end Evolet opted to leave him be and signed the friend list too. When they asked her to introduce herself, all they got was a polite secretive smile and her full name. They didn't push further, seeing that she already signed the list and it would be rude. After some small talks and squabbles, they went to their respective room to get some rest.
Staring at the fake full moon in the sky, Evolet was reminded of the box she got from Hansung. Said box was now in her hand, still closed. Nothing comes to mind when she tries to guess the contents of the box. But knowing that it's from that person… She opened it anyway. Evolet's eyes widened when she saw what was inside. A single Suspendium rock was inside, glowing lightly in the darkness of the room. A letter card accompanied the Suspendium rock.
The card was crumpled in an instant. She hated this feeling of helplessness. With a sigh, she decided that she should think of what she can craft from the Suspendium rather than worrying about it.
Bam's abilities were growing at a rapid rate and Evolet was convinced he would pass without any problem. Well, any problem except Hoh if he interrupts. But judging by the look on Hoh's face as he stormed off earlier… Evolet wasn't hoping much for that.
During the break time, Khun came to the Wave Controller's class; bearing some news for Bam and Evolet. Apparently Endorsi and Anaak fought in the Fisherman's class, resulting in a possibility that the both of them might fail the test from the lack of points. During their talk, Shibisu had suddenly come out of nowhere. He had suddenly latched onto Bam, earning a deadpan stare from Evolet; especially with what he's talking about. Khun immediately caught up to Shibisu's implications.
"Is your friend-making not going well?"
Shibisu showed his friend list, revealing that he only needed two more signs; same with Hatz. Khun didn't see any problem with it. "You're almost there."
But with a pitiful look, Shibisu said "The deadline is today! There's no time left!"
And he promptly hugged Bam, whining; or is it wailing? Which irked Evolet as she gripped Shibisu's neck collar, tugging him away from Bam. Hatz cutted in, claiming that it was his fault the friend making wasn't going well. Shibisu, who was in Evolet's grip; rebutted. "Don't be so standoffish! We're friends, aren't we?"
Khun was sipping his canned coffee without a care in the world as this all occurred. He only started paying attention again when Bam asked him if there was anything that can be done regarding the situation. Looking at the three expectant faces of Bam, Hatz and Shibisu; Khun sighed. He tried to deter Bam to no avail, giving in at the end. "Let's go, guys."
The confused boys could only let out a synchronized "Huh?"
With a sigh, Evolet let go of Shibisu. She wondered if she could get away from being involved with what Khun had planned. Khun smirked, "It's showtime."
Evolet would be forever thankful that she didn't have to do the acting the boys had done from Khun's plan. She could only let out a dry laugh at Hatz's acting, amused that he wasn't found out by Endorsi immediately. Both Khun and Evolet were waiting outside of Anaak's room as the trio executed Khun's plan. The results were spectacular. Khun even managed to tease Hatz and get a thank you out of him. Evolet watched them interact with a smile as she patted Bam's head, congratulating him for a job well done.
The remaining days passed by quickly. Endorsi and Anaak who got injured during the Fisherman class were healing up nicely. Their friend circle was also expanding, Bam's a ball of sunshine after all. Evolet wouldn't have minded going up the Tower with this group if she didn't have a promise to keep. But she'll cherish these memories.
On that fateful day, Evolet was taking a casual stroll after class; not expecting… that would happen to her. She had bumped into Endorsi during her walk. While it was unexpected, it wasn't something that she didn't welcome. She greeted Endorsi briefly, planning to straight to her own room afterwards; only to be stopped by Endorsi. Evolet stayed silent albeit confused as Endorsi stared at her. She felt… a bit uncomfortable and for some reason her instinct told her she needed to run away ASAP. When she was about to bid Endorsi goodbye, Endorsi grabbed her wrist, pulling her along as Endorsi asked for her time without confirmation.
Right now, Evolet was sitting in Endorsi's room; clearly wondering about what was going on. Endorsi was rummaging through her closet, throwing clothes here and there as she muttered variations of "No, this isn't it…", although there were some instances where she nodded to herself as she put a few sets of clothes aside. The foreboding feeling was growing in Evolet's heart, but she didn't dare to exit the room lest Endorsi will get mad at her. On one hand, Evolet was amazed by the amount of outfits Endorsi has at her disposal. On the other hand, Evolet was evidently getting more confused since Endorsi hasn't uttered a single word to her after she dragged Evolet into her room. Soon enough, Endorsi's closet has been emptied out; its contents split into two stacks… or rather two mountains. If Evolet knew what was going to happen after this, she would've chosen to dash out of the room without remorse.
Endorsi randomly picked a set of clothes from the stack she had deemed "fit" for Evolet. She grinned widely as she approached Evolet who was still sitting there without any idea of what's about to transpire. "Now, Eve-chan~"
That moment, alarms were blaring in Evolet's mind as Endorsi rapidly approached with a weird glint in her eyes. Evolet's face rapidly paled, and she made an instant decision to run away. She didn't even manage to reach the door before being stopped by Endorsi. "Don't run away. Let's get this started, shall we? I bet a lot of styles will fit you! We'll try all of them, one by one."
Evolet was sweating bullets, but she couldn't see any way out. She laughed awkwardly as Endorsi brought up the set of clothes to her face. Needless to say, her screams didn't went unheard as she was subjugated to this "torture". And while some regulars who passed the door wondered what was happening beyond the door, they didn't dare to ask since Endorsi's nameplate was on the door. Endorsi didn't relent one bit as she made Evolet try on every set of outfits she had chosen. Endorsi seemed to enjoy the time spent, giving out reactions and comments with every clothes Evolet tried.
It was only hours later that Evolet was able to escape from Endorsi's room, running away as if her life depended on it. She was running away with tremendous speed, not paying attention on her path which resulted in a crash with Anaak. Both girls fell to the floor from the impact, groaning from the pain. Evolet was the first to stand up, already apologizing to Anaak over and over. Anaak was about to snap at her, but when she looked at Evolet; she instead became a bit confused. The confusion was swiftly cleared up when Evolet told her the reason behind her desperate run from Endorsi, or "the witch" as Anaak dubbed her. Anaak didn't pester her any further, and was about to walk away. She stopped in her tracks when Evolet suddenly apologized once more to her. This time for her attitude during the Crown Game. "Anaak-san! Uh… I'm sorry for what happened during the Crown Game… My temper got the best of me because I was too focused on Bam during that time… And I kind of snapped when you threatened him… I'm sorry for the injury I caused too…"
Anaak actually wasn't bothered about it at all. She even attained Black March in the end, although the weapon was still being difficult. She doesn't understand why Evolet was apologizing. "Aren't you mad that I got the Black March?" Anaak asked from curiosity.
Evolet blinked, not really getting why she had asked that. "No? A bet was a bet… And the reason we lost the Black March was because we didn't manage to win. It was simply because my powers are inadequate."
Anaak didn't miss how Evolet had said it was her own powers that were lacking. Regardless of that, Anaak scoffed and thought that maybe Evolet wasn't that bad. "Come on long-hair, the Witch is probably searching for you. We've gotta go before she appears."
Evolet didn't know why Anaak would help her, but she gave a smile as she took Anaak's hand in stride as she walked away. Anaak didn't complain a word. The both of them ended up meeting with Khun and Shibisu who were conversing in the hallway. Evolet called out to them, waving energetically as she did. The two boys froze at the sight of Evolet.
"Uhh… Eve, what are you wearing?" Shibisu was the first to ask.
At first Evolet was puzzled, unknowing to what he meant. Only when she looked at herself that she realized that she was still wearing the last outfit Endorsi managed to coerce her to wear. It was… undoubtedly different than her usual outfit. At the moment she was wearing an oversized white off-shoulder sweater and black knife-pleated mini skirt. Her lavender hair was styled into one big side braid, swaying gently as Evolet moved. Her boots stayed the same as previously. But perhaps what caught the boys' attention was that her typical white leggings were missing thanks to Endorsi and they were staring shamelessly at Evolet's legs. Evolet wasn't aware of this fact at all and just answered Shibisu's question. "Ahaha… Endorsi uh… insisted I try on some new clothing and wouldn't let me go for a few hours. I still need to take back my clothes later… without meeting her."
When Shibisu didn't answer because he was still distracted by the sight, an angry tick mark could be seen on Anaak's head as she kneed Shibisu. Which in turn snapped Khun out of it when he heard Shibisu groaning from the pain. He gulped, silently thankful that Anaak had targeted Shibisu first. Anaak dragged Shibisu away, but not before giving Khun a warning glare. Evolet could only sweatdrop and waved them goodbye, still oblivious of why it happened.
In the end, Khun accompanied Evolet to Endorsi's room and took her original clothes back. While Evolet was beaming with happiness from getting her clothes back, Endorsi proudly grinned at Khun; mouthing "Be grateful to me". Khun's eyebrow twitched as he mouthed back a decisive "No". Sparks were crackling between them, Evolet was still blissfully unaware. Afterwards, Khun walked Evolet back to her room. He planned to leave immediately after doing so, or at least that was his intention before Evolet said that she needed to talk to him and invited him in.
Evolet brewed some lavender tea for Khun before showing him a box containing Suspendium. Khun was observing the Suspendium Evolet had shown him. "This is… Suspendium. A high purity one at that."
"Yes, Khun-san. I was planning to make a Lighthouse for you. Since I already gave Bam a Baang so I thought a Lighthouse would do you good."
"You know how to make a Lighthouse?!" Khun asked, a little surprised since it wasn't a common knowledge.
"It's not impossible to craft, if you're willing enough to lend a bit of your Shinsu so I can make a customized one. Please consider it a… thank you gift."
Khun caught up to her implication. "You're leaving soon aren't you?"
"... In 2 days…"
"You're just going to disappear during the Positioning test?"
Evolet nodded, emotions not really showing in her face which made it hard for Khun to read her expressions. Nonetheless, Evolet still made him that Lighthouse in the end. One with special attributes and functions. Khun would be lying if he said he wasn't curious with all the things that don't add up about Evolet.