Not a Lab Rat

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The word that would describe the mood of everyone was pensive.  Conversations were kept at a minimum as we headed down the white corridors towards the lantern rooms.

It felt surreal what Death and I had achieved. Even more so with War walking ahead of me. He was carrying the sling stretcher, containing an unconscious Trix, with Ryoko. Death walked next to her, matching her pace.

My thoughts lingered on Leinard's unresponsive body in the stretcher Saku and Wilfred carried.

The Aueralius Brothers had lost consciousness soon after I had used my power to return Brystagg, Lyra and Buru back to their time. I was concerned my power had caused some side effect on them.  Was it because I had sent Brystagg back being their blood relative? Or maybe because they had been linked to the primary core?

I couldn't understand why both brothers had instantly relapsed to unconsciousness as soon as Brystagg had disappeared from our time within a blink of an eye.  When Death had reversed the lock around the fate held in stasis within my thoughts to dispel it, they remained unconsciousness.

My eyes lowered towards the stone floor with a deep frown.

"How much further to a lantern room?" I called out to Lita who had assumed the lead.

"Just around the corner," she answered without turning around.

We turned a corner and into a corridor where rice paper doors (painted with pretty images of red cherry blossoms) were evenly positioned on either side.

Forneas was waiting for us in the middle of the corridor with Doctor Samuel Mercer by his side.

"Place Captain Aueralius on the tatami mats in the fourth unit to the right," Samuel ordered War and Ryoko .

Both of them carried Trix into the fourth lantern room as instructed. Forneas and Death followed them inside.

"Lieutenant Colonel goes into the fourth one on the left," he instructed Wilfred and Saku.

I watched them take Leinard into the room.

"How'd you know we were coming?" I asked the weird doctor.

"I felt my kin's chi before chaos had occurred. Shortly afterwards, those brothers' energies were mingled with my kin's. So, when my kin's chi was no longer present, I assumed you were on your way." His free eye seemed to twitch with a smile. Its glaring redness made his skin paler and creepier.

"Aah, so when you say kin, you're referring to the hiruda right?" I gulped and discreetly shuffled a few steps away from him.

Samuel chuckled. "You are correct. We're both of the Night Vamprous genus and hirudas. Unlike the one you faced, I'm only interested in using my mentor's body to fulfil his medical research that benefits humanity."

With his thin smile making his face resemble a hollow-eyed ghost, I wasn't particularly convinced.

Wilfred and Saku's reentry into the corridor, fortunately, interrupted our conversation.

"Will they be okay?" Wilfred asked Samuel.

"Those brothers? Most likely," Samuel stoically answered. "I've treated them for worse."

I gazed at the door that Wilfred and Saku had come out of, wondering if Leinard really was going to pull through.

"You can go see him if you want." Lita's voice pulled me out of my thoughts.

I sighed and shook my head. "No, it's alright. I'm sure he'll be fine soon."

She gave me a reassuring pat on my shoulder.

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