Magic slowly faded inside that small room. The platinum formation started contracting as it dissipated.
Wu Yan, Kotori, and Kotori opened their eyes at the same time. They looked like they just woke up from nightmares. Their breathing is very erratic.
Kotori grabbed her head. She subconsciously grimaced as her mind is still in her memories. Her red eyes shook with shock and astonishment.
"I remember now... I remember why I became a spirit..."
Wu Yan looked like he's frustrated and angry.
"Turns out Phantom was there from start to finish, why didn't I notice it?"
Wu Yan felt helpless.
How was he supposed to notice her?
He got teleported back in time to Tengu City five years ago. He met Kotori by chance, that wasn't an event he could control. They only had a short time together. He couldn't control his arrival or departure. Even if he noticed Phantom, there's probably not much he could do about that entity.
So the Phantom that was responsible for transforming Kotori into a spirit observed his interactions with young Kotori until the end.
Kurumi frowned. She growled in a low tone.
"So Kotori became a spirit because of her..."
Wu Yan and Kotori turned around at the same time.
"Kurumi, you know that thing?!"
Kurumi nodded. She shook her head the next instant.
"I know her but that's only because I talked with it a few times before meeting hubby-sama..."
Kotori suppressed her emotional turbulence with a deep inhalation.
"Do you know who it really is?"
Kurumi shook her head.
"We talked very briefly on every encounter. It also uses that mosaic blocks to cover its identity and voice. I don't know what it looks like or what its aims are, I also don't know what it is up to on a regular basis..."
Kotori dimmed down. Wu Yan glanced at her before asking Kurumi a question.
"Kurumi, where did you first make contact with that entity?"
"It found me first."
Kurumi narrowed her eyes. She delved into her memories.
"That entity knows many things. It knows I am amassing time to fire the twelfth bullet. It is also the entity that told me about your enrollment in Raizen High. It gave me your address, the Itsuka Residence as well as the existence of Tohka and Yoshino."
"It gave you intel?"
Wu Yan replied.
"You're saying you came looking for me because that entity gave you information on me?!"
"Come to think of it, that entity is the reason why I integrated so swiftly into the human's ecosystem. It provided me with all the information I needed..."
Kotori raised an eyebrow.
"You're saying you don't know anything about the Phantom?"
"Regrettably, I don't know much about that entity..."
Kurumi turned towards Kotori.
"It is always the one seeking me out. It also gave me the information for free. I doubted her motives at first but the leads it gave me didn't harm me so I kept acting on her information. I still don't know why it did that..."
Taking a quick look at Wu Yan, Kurumi continued.
"It seems to be greatly interested in hubby-sama. I am beginning to suspect that the entity's intentionally set me up with hubby-sama."
"Intrigued by me?"
Wu Yan chortled.
"Probably because I went back in time to seal Kotori's powers?"
Kurumi waxed thoughtfully before nodding.
"That should be it, I can't think of any other reason. Aside from Shiori, nobody but you can seal a spirit's powers."
"Plus, hubby-sama is an existence with powers surpassing that of spirits, you're also immortal. Before turning into hubby's summon, I had no idea what kind of existence you're..."
Wu Yan pursed his lips.
"The furtive actions behind the scenes suggest a motive only the entity knows. My sudden appearance must have attracted her attention since I can throw a wrench in her machinations."
"Even you don't know the Phantom's true identity?"
Kotori was confused.
"You know a lot about transcript worlds, no?"
"I told you this when we were still in Strike the Blood, I don't know everything about transcript worlds..."
Wu Yan bitterly laughed.
"I know more about this world than Strike the Blood. Unfortunately, I still don't know the Phantom's true identity. I don't know where it came from..."
"You're so useless. Your spoiler-like knowledge could have been so useful."
"You should at least know why it turned me into a spirit or why it's handing out Sephira crystals to humans..."
"I-I am afraid I don't know why..."
Wu Yan turned his head the other way. He suddenly blurted out something.
"I do know there's another human who turned into a spirit after the Phantom bestowed a Sephira Crystal on her."
"What did you say?!"
Kotori grabbed Wu Yan's collar. She yelled at him.
"Why did you keep mum on something so important?!"
Wu Yan dodged the spit from Kotori. He pursed his lips.
"How would that help us?"
"Of course, I want you to go and interact with her. Then, you will seal her powers!"
"I am afraid that's impossible..."
Wu Yan shrugged. Before Kotori can scream her tops off, he stopped her.
"That girl hates men very much. But she does like beautiful girls."
Kotori's incensed face froze up.
Kurumi started gasping.
Wu Yan looked at Kotori while grinning.
"Like Lana, that girl is a Yuri girl. I can't deal with her type. Maybe, Kotori, you want to take one for the team?"
Kotori choked. The looks Wu Yan and Kurumi are giving her didn't serve to lighten her rage. She shrieked at Wu Yan.
"I don't care. You're the one who is in charge of sealing spirits. You must subjugate her!"
Wu Yan was puzzled.
"I already told you, she likes girls, okay?!"
"That's your problem!"
Kotori retorted with her arms akimbo.
"You already conquered the hearts of so many ladies, don't tell me you don't know how to deal with a Yuri girl?!"
"I don't! You think I am the god of conquest?!"
Wu Yan snapped back at her.
"That's like trying to change someone's batting team, do you know the difficulty of this task?!"
"I already said, 'That's your problem'!"
Kotori waved her hands like she didn't want to hear any more than this.
"Do you want the Realizers or not?!"
Wu Yan nodded after a brief pause. Kotori revealed a sly grin.
"If that's the case then you must do your job as an executive of Ratatoskr. Then, and only then, can I request Realizers from my superiors..."
Wu Yan's lip twitched.
"I-I can go rob the AST or DEM if I wanted Realizers..."
"Asgard Electronics, the organization that supports Ratatoskr is an organization with more advanced Realizers than DEM."
Kotori dropped that line with an ambiguous smile.
"Is that okay?"
Wu Yan couldn't find another retort.
Kotori nodded with a satisfied look.