Stalwart Hunters (3)

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The Cover-Up

Truce Fountain Square

July 18 of the year 323

Jinn’s Day

Seikou wanders in slowly, looking kind of stunned and dazed and not even noticing Variance. He collapses on a bench in silence.

The same doesn't hold true for Variance. He immediately, yet cautiously, approaches the dazed Seikou, one hand keeping a stern grip on his weapon in case he -was- chasing a false hope. “...Seikou?”

Seikou looks up blearily. “It's okay. The virus is gone for now.”

Variance heaves a sigh of relief and collapses onto the bench himself, almost dropping his spear in doing so.

“...I assume you wish me to resign from the Hunters...?”

Variance keeps his gaze to the ground, voice somewhat quiet. “With all due respect to the rules, I should report this.”

“...I apologize.... I thought it was gone. That place.... It just...” Seikou shudders. “I couldn't fight it....”

Variance finally raises his eyes from the cobblestone path around the fountain, looking to Seikou with a soft smile and an air of reassurance. “I can't honestly say it's alright, but I'm sure I can do something so you don’t have any trouble with the other Hunters. We all have our secrets... That -place- just seems to bring them out more acutely than others.”

Seikou blinks and raises his head a little. “Like what?”

Variance turns to the eternally airborne jets of water once again, the sound of it seeming to put him at ease. “My first round in the Magitek Factory... I can't really say I had any secrets to reveal, but it roused something in me I never thought was even in me. Hard to describe.”

Seikou sighs. “Tell me, Variance-sama... in that place... what was screaming...?”

Variance narrows his eyes at something unseen, a memory flashing before him. “Espers. Dying Espers, being processed into magicite to be used for power sources. That's the screaming.”

Seikou looks startled. “An esper told me that they were used for power sources... I didn't really believe him. It was true...?”

Variance nods solemnly, expression still troubled.