Chapter 40:...Till People Get Hurt

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Happy Holidays everyone!
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Chapter 40: The Storm

(Y/N) was absentmindedly petting Swampert as the trio waited for updates regarding their friends. Something was...off. It was a feeling the trainer had. The halls seemed unsettlingly quiet and Rotom had still not checked in with her. The speedy ghost type was usually quite punctual, so something had to be keeping them. Just then, Ortho walked in.
"Hello, Rook Hunt, Epel Felmier, and (Y/N) Stone. Have you experienced anything unusual?"
"Hello, little Ortho." Rook greeted. "Thank you for your concern. We have been safe and sound thanks to your hospitality."
The robot nodded. "Vil-san and the other's tests have all concluded. Everything seems to be in perfect condition. They've all been sent to their rooms so they could fully recover from the fatigue. Grim-san's tests were extensive, so we're letting him rest as much as he wants. The earliest you can meet them is tomorrow morning when you are transported back to the school.
(Y/N) sighed in relief as Room shook his head.
"Oh, my... I wished we could have met Vil sooner, but I must not force him if he is exhausted."
"I'm just glad Grim is okay." The trainer said.
"Oh, I also handed Vil-san your care package..." Ortho informed them.
Rook was delighted. "Have you? Merci! I am forever grateful for your friendship and kindness."
"It's okay. It is we who should be thanking you. If you hadn't come here, I feel as if I wouldn't have been able to discover my purpose in life. I'll do my best so I can say I did everything in my power, too. I can't leave things as is for long."
(Y/N) raised a brow at the almost...ominous declaration. It was then noticed that Ortho wasn't quite acting like he usually did. Normally he had a more chipper way about him, but he seemed much more hollow right now. It also did not escape Rook's perception.
"Monsieur Doll... I wish that your future is as bright as you hope it would be.
The boy nodded. "Thank you. I will see you soon..."
(Y/N) frowned at the door as he left.
Epel turned to her. "Ortho seemed a little different, didn't he...?"
"Yeah."
She could have sworn she saw him hiding what looked like battle damage.
(Elsewhere)
Idia stretched, relieved this entire mess was coming to an end.
"We're finally done with all the tests. Although, we might need to look further into Sir Grim's magical source. With his magical output, I doubt he'd cause that much trouble even if something happens. It should be fine with enough observation. Still...Who in the world requested S.T.Y.X. to look into the Night Raven students? We received an anonymous tip from the Isle of Dawning's government, but it's certainly suspicious that their anti-tracking countermeasures were perfectly intact. And that's not all, five mages Overblotting within a concentrated area in a short period of time was unheard of until now. In the century that it's existed, Night Raven College only had less than ten students who've gone berserk. And now, five in six months. They're problem children, but these numbers are too much. I've checked their results, but the subjects themselves don't really have anything that sets them apart from most mages. The Phantoms suppressed in them probably broke free after they used some very powerful magic, but unlike here, the Sage's Island doesn't really have any ruins or artifacts that could affect them..."
Idia paused for a moment, his eyes scanning the data before they shot over with a shocking theory.
"Hold on... Is someone deliberately triggering their Overblot?" It only lasted a second before his shoulders relaxed again. "...No, I gotta stop living in my fictional worlds. Overblot is generally caused by an excessive accumulation of Blot partnered with the caster's overflowing negative emotions. Still, there are many other factors to consider. With Overblot comes countless causes and effects. There's always a karmic cycle, so to speak. Everything is an accumulation of past events." His gaze dropped. "The "spirit" is the trigger for most emotional outbursts, yet it is extensive and very difficult to quantify. The "spirit" cannot be easily contained, no matter how hard we try. I mean, if Overblot was so easy to contain, S.T.Y.X. wouldn't even be here."
Idia let out a heavy sigh as he slumped in his chair, tired. He was so sick of this cur...job...so sick of this job and he wasn't even head yet.
"Why were humans equipped with such an unstable element in the first place? It clearly affects behavior. A system that can't be controlled is easily bugged and it won't be long before it encounters a systematic failure. Why didn't they check for errors before giving us our hearts? This is the worst..." Suddenly, his phone began vibrating. "Hm...? Mr. CrimsonMuscle just messaged me...?"
He looked at the time and let out a shriek.
"AH!! I forgot that we were supposed to finish the new DLC quests today! I haven't installed the latest update yet! I don't think I can join him today..."
Idia began typing furiously.

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