The elderly woman’s Intelligence detached from her Core, and she looked around in shock. “Huh?” She glanced down at her body. “Huh?” Her vision finally fell on Sora and Nathan. “HUH? Nathan, dear, is that you? I don’t—I don’t hurt? Am I dead?” Her eyebrows shot up as she did a closer examination of Sora, ears twitching self-consciously. “Well, aren’t you a strange but pretty angel … never imagined there’d be fox angels.”
Nathan shook his head, clearing his throat. “No, Bobbie,” he chuckled. “Sora’s actually a fox goddess.”
Her white eyebrows shot up further. “That right? Do all goddesses look as young as you, Sora, and wait, I’m not dead?”
Sora shook her head. “Erm, no, Ms. Bobbie—I—umm—I guided your Intelligence out of your body so you could speak to Nathan.”
Bobbie clicked her tongue a few times. “Well—is this your first time seeing an old lady? Sora, the fox goddess? I feel like I should be more shocked to see you than you to see me.”
Her aunt chuckled from behind Bobbie, making Sora blush and her ears press back. Don’t make fun of me…
Turning, Bobbie’s mouth dropped open. After a few seconds, she nodded, swallowing hard. “Okay,” she sniffed, “okay, you’re a fox goddess; no doubt. I don’t know how this whole thing works or if this is a dream, but I’ll roll with it, as the kids say.”
“Hello,” Inari’s smile was pleasant. “I’m Inari.”
“Pleasure’s all mine,” Bobbie nodded, bowing slightly. She turned back to Nathan with a smile, latching onto his neck. “Nathan! I’ve missed you so much. I tried to get in contact with you about—about Davis, but I didn’t know your new address down in Miami, and I don’t know how to work that blasted computer, but I understand, you’re trying to get out and be your own man. Davis was so proud of you when you made it into the academy, and then getting that Lieutenant promotion in Miami!”
Nathan filled his lungs with air before puffing it out. “Bobbie, I’m sorry I haven’t been around … I know you could have…”
“Please,” Bobbie slapped his shoulder with a hearty chuckle. “Don’t give me that garbage! You need to get out and live your life—I just wish you’d get yourself a girlfriend…” Her eyes widened as she slowly turned around to stare at Inari, and she smiled back innocently. “Are you—dating a fox goddess?”
“What!” Nathan locked up, swallowing hard as his vision shot toward her beyond gorgeous aunt. She continued to smile, head tilting slightly as her tails weaved behind her. “N—no, absolutely not! She’s like—like millions of years old!”
Bobbie lifted an eyebrow. “Millions,” she whispered, appraising the fox. “She doesn’t look a day over twenty-five … you know, Nathan, age is just a number.” She winked.
“Bobbie!” His face began to glow beet-red, causing Inari to giggle, and Sora couldn’t help but smile at the old woman’s energy.
“Hey,” Bobbie grinned with a sharp nudge. “I mean, you have a literal goddess in front of you, eh. Is she seeing someone or is that a human thing?”
“I have not engaged in such acts in a very long time and never with a human,” Inari stated without shame. “However, we are not here to discuss my love life, but Nathan’s could be interesting. He hasn’t gone on a date since you set him up with Gwen.”
Bobbie’s eyes narrowed. “Seriously, Nathan? That was like four years ago!”
“How is this happening?” Nathan moaned, covering his face.
Her face lightened, and she reached up to hug him again. “Hey, any girl would be blessed to have you; so, what’s all this about?”
Nathan’s brow furrowed as he pulled away. “But—don’t you have questions?”
“Tch, of course I do,” Bobbie huffed. “I’m just not stupid enough to ask. I’m sure there are much more important things to discuss than what god is real or if there’s a heaven or such pointless questions. I have faith, and this won’t change that, in fact, it strengthens it!”
She turned to Sora. “And how old might you be, Sora? Don’t tell me you’re older than this drop dead gorgeous goddess behind me?”
Clearing her throat, Sora shook her head. “I’m sixteen—I turned sixteen like, last week, I think? Time’s been kind of tricky lately.” She sighed.
“Well, okay. You look the part, maybe a little younger,” she giggled at Sora’s blush. “So, we have Sora, the sixteen-year-old fox goddess, and Inari, the millions of years old fox goddess. Alright, so, what can this old woman do for you?”
“You’ve already accomplished it, my dear,” Inari said cheerily, appearing a little behind Nathan.
“Huh?” Nathan muttered, glancing back at her.
“Yes, you can say your goodbyes and Bobbie can return to her life knowing that the boy she took in will one day have a wife; all thanks to your powerful intervention.”
“Oh, thank you so much,” Bobbie said, tears appearing in her eyes as she looked at Inari. “You have answered my prayers!”
“May your heart be at ease; now, all you need to do is lie back down on your bed, and you will return to slumber.”
Nodding, she hugged Nathan tightly before releasing him. “Thank you for coming to visit this old lady that always nagged you to shave. You’ll make a wonderful husband!”
“Why—is this happen? Are you serious, Inari?”
“Of course, I never lie.” Inari giggled. “Why don’t I give you a sneak peek, Bobbie?”
“Oh, yes! Please do!” She clapped with glee.
“Hey … I’d like…”
“Ah, no spoilers for you,” Inari smirked, and Sora felt a tiny bit of her energy being used as an unbelievably complex magical pattern was formed.
Bobbie’s tears increased as her eyes widened. “Oh, she’s—she’s so lovely. What a blessing this is, Inari. Thank you—thank you.”
Sora smiled at the happy woman as she kissed Nathan on the cheek. She’s so sincere and straightforward.
“Alright, Nathan, you treat her well, you hear me! If I’m still around, you better bring her by! Now, I better get going, because every minute you waste with this bag of bones is another minute you’re without that beauty. Ya’ hear?” Taking a deep breath, she squeezed Nathan’s hand and sat back. “Until next time, Nathan. I love you.”
Nathan wiped at his cheeks as she returned to her body. “Bye, granny.”
He sat still for several minutes before turning to Sora. “Alright, let’s go see my brother.”
Nodding, Sora guided the magic. They were in a dark room with no lights. Her vision instantly adjusted, but Nathan seemed to be blind.
“Umm, what’s going on?”
Inari utilized her magic, and Nathan suddenly stiffened. “Holy cow, what—what’s this? Everything’s so clear…” He trailed off as he saw the only person in the room; a man lying on a couch with a needle in his arm, drool coming out of his mouth.
“Jack!” He dropped to his brother’s side, but his hands went through him. “Please, can you save him?”
Sora moved forward, but Inari’s voice made her halt. “Nathan, everything up until now has been for a future time, but if you wish for me to aid further, then you’ll have to make a deal with me.”
“Huh? What do you mean?” Sora looked at her aunt with disbelief. Now?
“Yes, Sora, now.”
“Ashley has already accepted the deal I offered. I can give you a few options within the deal if you prefer. I know which you’ll choose, but giving you the different options is only proper.”
Sora frowned as Nathan seemed to freeze in place; she could feel information feed into his mind, but her aunt didn’t use any of her power that she could detect. The information made Nathan hesitate for a moment before he nodded. “I can do that; consider it done.”
“What done?” Sora’s ears twitched. “What did you ask him to do?”
Nathan smiled at her. “Don’t worry about it, Sora. Given the information, it’s something I’d do anyway.”
Huffing, Sora glared at him as his emotions told her something different. “You’re not telling me the truth. You would do it, but you’re scared of something.”
“I’d rather not discuss it, Sora, and that’s my decision, not Inari’s.”
Pursing her lips, Sora slid her icy stare to her aunt. “I bet you didn’t let Ashley tell me her deal either.”
“It’s my choice,” Nathan said. “Inari gave me all the details, but it’s my decision.”
“Well—you’re not lying.” She muttered. Is it dangerous…
“You don’t have time to be worrying about this, Sora. Jack has overdosed; his spirit is leaving his body. You must heal the body and then guide the spirit back.”
“You know how to heal the body, for the spirit, feed the magical desire into his body and search for his Spirit that has left. Inside it is his Core, call to it.”
Following her aunt’s instructions, she hovered her tails over his body, blue energy surrounding her tails.
“Fix the body’s chemical imbalance and drug damage as well. You can cure his addiction.”
Performing the magic, she felt his body return to perfect health before she turned her attention to the Spirit. Searching, she found it, it wasn’t nearby, yet it wasn’t far away; it was the strangest feeling. It’s like … his soul is just beyond reach … just shoot out a tether and latch on …. there!
Opening her eyes, she saw Jack sit up, pulling the needle from his arm as he stared around, clearly confused. “That’s so strange … a fire fox? Huh … what a trip.”
Getting to his feet, he stared at the syringe. “I don’t—I don’t want anymore? How? I’m going to have to tell Nathan!”
He dashed out, and Nathan smiled after him. “I haven’t—he hasn’t been that happy in … since we were teens. He can now live a normal life; it’s all his decision now.”
Turning to Sora, he yawned, but his brow set. “Right, the final point, Patrick. Sora, can you take me to the image?”
“Umm, sure, but are you sure?”
Nathan got up, looking after his brother. “Yeah, Bathin’s demons left the moment he died. He’s free.” A tear fell down his cheek. “You don’t know how hard it is, watching your brother destroy himself, but now he’s got his whole life ahead of him.”
This is so strange … was this your doing again?
“Have a little faith. His brother will search for him, but as time goes on, he will move to better plateaus. He will eventually meet his brother again.”
“So … we’re going to see Patrick?” She got his answer through the mental image she sensed. Here we go.
The environment shifted in a flash, and they were standing in front of what looked like a drug operation. People were measuring vials of liquid and weighing bags of powder.
“Sora,” Nathan whispered.
“Can you manipulate Patrick to turn himself in? To confess?”
“To drug trafficking?”
“Everything illegal he’s done.”
Walking over to the man, she fed her magic into his Core. His eyes widened as he looked around. “God? Is that you? I—I’ll do it!”
He quickly ran out of the facility, features panicked.
Sora followed his exit with a furrowed brow. “That was super easy. Is that everything?”
Nathan nodded. “Yup, Patrick always found a way to sell my brother Molly and ruined hundreds of people’s lives. Now, his entire drug ring will be dismantled. Thank you, Sora.”
Inari hummed. “Sora, I think it’s time we return. Everyone else is done.”
“Okay,” she smiled up at Nathan. “Thanks for sharing so much about yourself.”
With that, everything faded to black as she cut the constant feed of energy, and they were pulled back to their Cores.
Next chapter is Aiden’s POV, then Eyia’s and back to primarily Sora.
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