By the time I got back, the girl was still passed out. To make things worse, I found that my dorm apartment was definitely more messed up than it was when I left it.
The cause of the mess: Ulrich Crevis, my friend and next door neighbor who sat on the couch, having thrown the text books I left there all over the place without a care. He was using my phone, using a driving simulator game where you raced against other online racers, headphones on his head. The volume was probably at its highest that he didn't hear my door open.
Which gave me the perfect chance to come up to him and, before he could turn to greet me, I sent him flying across the room off the couch.
"Ow! Okay, that hurt, Kaden!" he protested as I laid the girl onto the couch while he scrambled to his feet.
"Here you are, sitting cheerfully in my place, and you throw my stuff everywhere?" I asked.
"Uh - they were on the couch, and you asked me to look after your place, right?" Ulrich shot back, but before he finished, I snapped,
"Also, you could have come to my place to tell me about the Immorta Caste, but instead, you sit where you are, and tell me you're watching it on the roof - you do realize what an Immorta Caste can do, right?"
"I am not an Esper, too bad," said Ulrich, waving his hand in mockery and dismissal at me. He grinned, taking things easy, despite the bump that I was sure he had on his head.
I glared at him. Well, that's true. He's not an Esper. I missed that part.
Then he looked wryly at me. "By the way, the Immorta Caste's still there." He pointed a thumb out my balcony window, and I hurried over to see. It was still there. Clouds were still gathering, but they'd slowed down, and the gold orb had disappeared.
"I know, I know, I found the culprit and stopped her, but I don't know why the phenomena's like this." I frowned. "Might need to ask Dr. Avison for help."
"You don't say," he mumbled. Then he froze, staring at the couch. "Who's that?"
Took him a while to even notice.
"That's who the culrpit is," I said. "She was in the middle of a group of Shadows, so I had to drag her here."
"You're kidding!" he yelped. "Is she hurt? If she was trying to gather energy, she's got to be really weakened!"
He hurried over and began to check her, holding a hand over her head. Ulrich is not an Esper, a psychic like me. But - he has strange abilities, I gotta say. Something out of place to us. Then he spun to me. "Kaden, her name's Emma Gray, by the way. Fifth-Rank of the Black Cards. She's the most well-known Black Card and that means, she's the most famous."
"Fifth-Rank?" I asked. "Wow, she's strong, then. Though - too bad she's not stronger than the Third-Rank." I couldn't help smirking.
"Don't start thinking you should challenge her, Kaden! She's just gotten a blow from the sky, and who know what she'll think of when she learns the consequences of an Immorta Caste," Ulrich snapped.
"Doesn't change the fact that I'm superior," I said.
"I'll still beat you in combat!"
"Without Esper abilities."
This argument is going nowhere . . . And anyway, our bickering woke the girl up, and we stopped when she sat up, squint at us for a long time.
And we stared back at her.
"Um . . ." she groaned, rubbing her eyes. "What . . . is this place?"
Then she looked stunned, as she got back her memory of what just happened. "Oh, that's right, the Immorta Caste!" She gasped, then saw us again. "Where . . .?"
"Hi, nice to meet you, I'm-" Ulrich began cheerfully.
And then the girl sprang to her feet as she yelled, "WHERE AM I?!!"
That made a huge-enough explosion that made us see a blast of electricity. And then the lights went out.
Everything went dark.
Someone started to sing a soft song in the dark.
There was a yelp from the girl - what was her name again? - and then there was the sound of a thump. She must have fallen back into the couch again.
"Shut up, Ulrich, you're scaring her!" I snapped.
The singing stopped. "Sorry."
"Okay, lady, we'll explain things to you in a minute, so just sit still," I said, now to the girl.