"Are you ready, Little Eve?"
Evolet's response to that question was a raised eyebrow as she motioned to the dangling bells on both of her ankles. She was wearing a simple knee length off shoulder white chiffon dress, with flared sleeves and gold accents. The usual boots she wore was gone, and she was barefooted with the exception of the anklet bells she's wearing. With every step she took, the bells resounded loud and clear. Evolet grumbled, yawning every once in a while from the lack of sleep. She was chugging down a glass of black coffee rather than her daily sustenance of hot chocolate. Terpsichore could only laugh heartily at the display, finding that it was cute.
"Right, so I'll take that as an affirmative. It's the perfect time for the ceremony, the full moon is out. You still remember my instructions right, Little Eve?"
Evolet straightened herself, traces of her exhausted hidden away as she nodded resolutely. "Halfway through the dance, strengthen the fans with Shinsu. Make sure to keep my balance when the temple surfaces. I still don't understand what you mean by enjoying the dance though..."
Terpsichore showed a soft smile at Evolet's answer, slowly fading back into the folding fans as her words lingered. "You'll understand it soon enough. I leave the rest up to you."
Gripping the fans with a conviction, Evolet stepped into the center of the empty cella and shut her eyes. She evened out her breath, letting her body go lax and started taking light steps. The ringing bells served as her guidance and rhythm, her sleeves and skirt fluttering with each turn. The delicate hold of the fans never faltered, moved around skillfully with elegance. A soothing feeling was flowing around her, surrounded by the darkness in the depths of the water, dancing alone and pouring her feelings out. Her body felt light, her movements crisp and graceful as she performed the war fan katas turned into a dance with smooth transitions and turns.
She could feel the Shinsu flow around her in the form of strings, just like how she always viewed it. A million thoughts should've been running through her mind, especially with how things have been going lately. But that wasn't the case at all. The Shinsu strings reaching out to her were clearer than ever. Her feet could feel the vibrations as the temple started moving upwards. She fortified the pair of fans with her Shinsu, unknowing of how the fans turned jet black and took on a reflective sheen like metal.
There was a lurch as the temple surfaced, but she kept her balance with the help of the Shinsu strings around her. Splashes of water were everywhere and she opened her eyes mid-turn, catching a glance of her reflection in one of the fan's surfaces along with the gleaming moonlight.
What her reflection showed came as a surprise for her. Her eyes were sharp and calm, no shred of doubt or worry in her eyes. But her mouth contradicted her eyes, showing a big grin that caught her off guard. In that split second, time seemed to flow slower and she caught a good look on her reflection; burning the image into her mind. Her mind's never been so clear, she's never enjoyed anything more, everything felt natural. The sensation that was like no other, a feeling so joyous as if she was made for this.
She's never felt more alive than this before. With that knowledge, her grin got wider and she picked up her pace. The jingling bells were more frantic, but they didn't stray off the tempo. Her grin only grew as she speeded up her spins more and more. Lavender shade hair was swaying wildly in the wind, but never getting in her vision. Shinsu strings started glowing, manifesting out of thin air for the naked eyes too see. The moonlight gave its ethereal glow in agreement, the lilies of the valley basking in the soft glow. Evolet was having the time of her life, all of the exhaustion forgotten and casted aside.
The fans were shut with a resolute snap by the end of the dance. Evolet was panting from exhaustion, but sprouting the biggest smile on her face. She'll be glad enough to dance more to relive this exhilarating feeling. The adrenaline rush was still present when she caught sight of Yunuen, patiently waiting at the edge of the lake. The Shinsu strings served as small stepping platforms for her to walk on.
"I'm sorry, Yunuen-san; things took a bit longer than I expected. Now, let's go ba-"
Her words started slurring halfway, eyes out of focus with the adrenaline rush disappearing. The familiar feeling of the world spinning around and muddled noises. The last thing she heard was Yunuen's panicked shout as she fell into the water with a splash.
Yunuen hastily jumped in to drag her back to solid ground. It went without a hitch, though by the end of it he was sputtering water. Evolet was laying on the grass now, drenched all over but fast asleep. That was the first time Yunuen saw her asleep with a serene expression. The dance was a wonderful sight to behold, the surrounding environment only provided support to make Evolet's dance seem much more beautiful than it already was. He quirked up a smile, remembering Evolet's excited grin when she danced full of life. The smile from earlier still evident in her expression, and Yunuen can't help but think that this whole trip truly paid off. Now all they need to do is go back to the third floor. ... He'll have to carry her since she's still asleep. Since he doubts Evolet will be happy if their departure got delayed, regardless of her passing out or not.
The nightmares never left her alone, not for a single night, not for a single sleep. She could always hear the voices, calling her cursed like how she always was. She couldn't deny anything they said when it was true. But overtime she's learnt to ignore it. And she was mostly successful for most of the part as long as nobody pushed the trigger button like Khun did unknowingly. Darkness surrounded her in the dream, red silhouettes with the outline of the figures all around her. She just curled into herself, closing her eyes and shutting out the voices. The darkness was comforting even in this situation for her.
She was faintly aware that she was moving. Opening her eyes, she was met by the sight of Yunuen at a weird angle beside her. It was only when she looked down did she understand that he was piggybacking her, and that he was slightly running instead of walking. He didn't stop when he knew she'd come to, keeping his eyes on the road. Instead he asked her, "Still with the nightmares?"
Evolet nodded against Yunuen's shoulder, nuzzling deeper to the crook of his neck as she released a sigh. "It's just the usual dream. As long as it doesn't show on my emotions then it's fine. I'm used to it. More importantly, where are we right now?"
"We're somewhere on the 7th floor, you've been asleep for two days so I started the descent." Yunuen answered calmly, all the while keeping up his speed. Evolet asked him to stop, voice still soft from waking up. Noticing how she still sounds sleepy, Yunuen skidded to a stop but didn't let her down. She didn't say anything about the matter, instead yawning as she stretched out a hand to the side.
Raiden appeared with crackles of lightning as soon as he was summoned. It took a frown from Evolet before he toned down the lightning, fur looking as fluffy as it always was. Evolet patted the beast's head, smiling fondly from the purrs she elicited from Raiden. Yunuen helped her to climb up on Raiden, keeping her steady and letting her lean on him as they sat. Evolet patted Raiden's head, signalling him to run. The wind rustled as he did, running at a pace much faster than Yunuen.
Another yawn escaped Evolet as she rubbed her eyes sleepily. "Can we stop by whichever floor Khun-san is on?"
"If you want it, then so will it be, Little One. But for now, go back to sleep." Evolet could only manage a small hum before drifting back to sleep.
They made a brief stop on the 6th floor, Evolet following the Shinsu strings that led her to the Lighthouse she gave to Khun. Yunuen had told her beforehand how Khun split up with the others and made his own team in order to bring Rachel up the Tower for Bam. She had gone "visit" him the day before, though it was rather more of an observation from afar. Other than Khun and Rachel, there were two other members. One of them was a fisherman that seemed to be Khun's relative judging from the same cobalt blue eyes. Evolet still thinks Khun's eyes look far brighter and mesmerizing. The other one was a lightbearer, doubling as a scout. But it was a face she's seen before in FUG's database. Evolet's eyebrows furrowed in displeasure, making a note to speak about this with Hansung should they meet again. She learns Khun's cousin is called Ran while the scout lightbearer is Apple. For now she'll settle with an inconspicuous warning for Khun to be cautious with his new team member.
Originally she only planned to give Khun a gift. But after seeing his newly made team, she just got this urge to give something to Ran too, just to spite Rachel and Apple. With the idea in mind, she rummaged through her Lighthouse in search of a particular blue hook that had lightning affinity. She found it rather quickly, pulling it out along with a gift box and some spare wrapping paper. After making sure it's neatly wrapped, Evolet asked Yunuen to deliver the package in a disguise while she watched the events unfold; sitting on her Lighthouse up in the sky. A fond and amused smile formed on her expression as she heard the exact words they were speaking with the help of the Shinsu strings. It's honestly an extremely versatile ability and she's never been so glad the skill was hers.
Yunuen rang the doorbell, teal eyes hidden under a cap. The door opened and Ran stared at Yunuen who was in a delivery outfit, he wasn't expecting any delivery; nor did the team for that matter. He stayed silent for a while, just staring before he asked Yunuen, "What do you need?"
Half of his face still hidden beneath the cap, Yunuen gave a mysterious smile before handing the package to Ran. "It's a delivery to Khun-san."
Yunuen didn't say anything more than that, instead going off immediately. Leaving Ran confused at the package and the delivered, muttering a small "Weirdo..." as he stood in the doorway. In the end, because Ran took too long responding to the doorbell; Khun came out to check on him.
"What was the doorbell earlier about, Ran?"
Ran looked back to Khun, handing him the wrapped package. "It's a package. The delivery guy said it's for Khun-san, so I don't know which one of us he's referring to. You know something about it, A.A.?"
Khun's eyes widened ever so slightly. He knew there was only one person that called him with the suffix '-san', and that was-
Not wasting any time, Khun took the package to his room; ignoring the questioning look on Rachel's face as he hurried past her. Ran only shrugged at the look, following Khun closely before shutting the door so Rachel can't see anything. Khun has seen Evolet's handwriting once before, when she signed the Shibisu and Hatz's friend making list for Scout class. Seeing his name written on the package's wrapping, he's sure that it was from Evolet. He opened the package, finding two boxes inside along with a letter. Although one box looked considerably much smaller than the other one. He picked up the letter first, reading the content silently with Ran peeking behind him.
Khun-san, happy belated birthday! I hope you don't mind that I took the liberty of searching up your birth date... Inside the little box is my birthday gift for you.
Pausing his read for a moment, Khun took out the little box and opened it. Inside was a cobalt blue flash drive; just like his eyes, he mused. He flipped the flash drive, discovering the little label on the back that wrote "It doesn't do your eye color justice though." along with a little smiley face. Khun's face flushed a bit as he laughed, oblivious to Ran's face of disbelief and disgust behind him when he saw Khun laughing.
The flash drive contains a few skill sets for Lighthouses; mainly teleportation. Which you can use once you get three E rank Lighthouses, but you can just get another two since the unranked one I gave you would also suffice for executing the move. Other than that there's also a fortified shield skill in it, so use that to your advantage. Things are moving on rather well on my side, and hopefully I'll be able to see everyone again soon. I've heard of your uhh... separation with Isu -san and the others, also of your new team. Some of them seem to be very good team members. As a commemoration for it, I've sent a gift to Ran-san. Perhaps partly because I wanted to spite Rachel too while I'm at it.
Khun handed Ran the bigger box, watching as he opened it skeptically. The content was a simple yet sturdy looking blue hook. Ran took it in his hands, already in the process of testing it out. Letting him do the testing, Khun got back to the letter's continuation.
It's an unnamed blue hook, but it should be around rank D in terms of abilities. So it should last quite long. Please, exert caution around Rachel. I also know the issue regarding... Bam. Please rest assured Khun-san, I'll be sure to tell you the truth when we meet again. Until then, please be careful. May the Tower's blessings be with you.
Evolet knows about Bam, the fact made Khun's blood run cold. Khun lifted the remains of the wrapping paper up, searching for an address or anything that would let him locate Evolet or at least send her a reply letter. He found nothing and gritted his teeth in slight frustration. Already, his mind started up the gears and overthink. Though he didn't manage to think about much before a crash was heard behind him. Whipping his head towards the source, he found his bed was cleanly split in half and beside it was Ran with his poor attempt to hide the blue hook behind him as he kept a stoic face. Khun threw him out of the room and confiscated Ran's monthly yogurt stock. Khun was already sighing by the time he closed the door, grabbing the flash drive that laid on the floor before plopping onto his bed. Only to fall because he forgot Ran just broke his bed. Right... Buying a new bed would come first before overthinking.
He doesn't know how Evolet's amused laughter rang through the sky as the Shinsu strings informed her of what happened. Her business on the 6th floor was done, now to continue her trip back to the 3rd floor. Off to where Bam is waiting.