“Contracts have a price.” But I never did, and I never knew why…. “Use your power, you have to pay. Some of us eat flowers. Some write poetry. Some have to break their own fingers. Some… are worse.” Hei shrugged. “If you don’t pay the price, you die.”
“Well, unless your body did die,” Mao put in. “We ran into another possessor who’d lost his body, once. He didn’t have a price anymore either.” Ears perked. “And that sounds like a symptom too?”
“It might be,” Ishida allowed. “Physical bodies tend to put limits on how much spiritual power a person can unleash. Many exorcists require rituals to perform their duties, or to recover afterward.” He frowned. “But I would rather not speculate without more solid information. May I examine your auras?”
Yin stirred. “Will it hurt?”
“Will it-?” The doctor cut himself off, cold eyes softening. “No, young lady. It shouldn’t hurt at all.”
“Good,” Yin nodded. “Hei’s tired.”
Ishida’s brows jumped. He glanced at Hei again, just a little wary. Then at Huang.
“Eh, he’s been worse off,” Huang grumped. “Just don’t startle him if he’s sleeping. You want to go first, Yin? It’ll make them feel better if they can watch.”
From that almost hidden smile, Ishida had heard loud and clear, So they can tear him apart if he even looks like hurting you.
“I don’t mind.” Yin looked up. “What do I do?”
“Sit still,” the doctor stated. “I need to be close enough to sense the energy clearly, but I should not have to touch you.”
Good, Hei thought, watching like a hawk. He didn’t know how Yin had been examined after the Syndicate had found her, but he’d gone through enough of his own involuntary visits to their labs to guess. Syndicate researchers were just as ruthless as their assassins. Though they usually didn’t leave as many bodies.