Prologue - Contract

"I call upon the Spirits, that one may come forth and make a contract with me."

I said this, and a girl materialized before me. I looked down at my right hand. There was a mark on the left side. This was proof that the contract had been forged. The girl who stood in front of me had the same mark on the middle of her left hand. We were now partners. She was my Spirit and I was her Keeper.

Ch 1 - Battle

"Alroy and Silvius versus Elryn and Lilith, first round fight, begin!"

I heard this as I was about to fight one of my friends, Alroy. I was in a competition between Keepers and Spirits. Keepers were those that were able to make a contract with a Spirit, giving the Spirit life energy. The Spirit would in turn give the Keeper a unique weapon and help them in battle. At least, that was what usually happened. I, however, am an extremely weak Keeper. I have not received a weapon, and Lilith, my partner, has no combat capabilities yet. I also happen to be the weakest known Keeper. Keepers' abilities are mostly based off of talent, and it appears that I am untalented. It is possible for a Keeper to get stronger, but it rarely happens. Most of the time, weak Keepers are discouraged from continuing, as the main job of Keepers is too fight wild Spirits, which can be very dangerous. The only reason they are allowing me to stay a Keeper is because I am able to fight very well. I studied many weapon fighting styles, and can use any weapon, as long as it isn't too heavy.

My opponent was Alroy, one of my friends , and he specializes in speed. He uses Ignillus, the flame trident. His Spirit, Silvius, was an earth Spirit, specializing in plants. Alroy prided himself on his speed. He was a very fast Keeper, and used it to his full advantage.

While Alroy was using the spear Ignillus, I had a knife. Just a regular steel knife. It was a temporary weapon that I have to use until I get a real Keeper weapon.

"Hey Roy! Do you mind going easy on me? I don't even have a real weapon!" I said this knowing the answer. Alroy never went easy on anyone.

"Don't even bother asking, you know I won't go easy on anyone!" He said this with a grin on his face, like he was going to enjoy beating me.

He started running towards me and within a few seconds, he was right in front of me. I predicted a strike to the heart, so I made a preemptive block. I was right, and my knife took the hit from the flame spear. This threw Alroy off guard, and I faked a stab to the chest, but at the last second, I turned downward and sliced open his left leg.

He cried out in pain. No matter how fast someone is, they won't be able to block an attack after being unexpectedly blocked and duped. This would slow him down.

"Ah!"

I heard Lilith yell, and I immediately looked over. Lilith is just a regular Spirit, and she had no fighting capabilities. Silvius was attacking her, and she was trapped in the branches of a tree that he grew with his magic. That Spirit! I told her before the match to stay in the back and not get in the way! I guess that if Alroy was slowed down, I could help her, but Alroy is still stronger and more durable than I am. I couldn't let my guard down.

I rushed over to help my partner, with Alroy following behind at a much slower pace than his last charge. I know Alroy well, so of course I knew his Spirit, too. I knew that Silvius's plants were too strong to cut with my knife, so attacking the caster was the only option I had left.

I leapt at the blonde Spirit, faking a slash to the neck then going for another leg slice. I cut from his knee down to his foot. The plant's grip on Lilith weakened as he writhed in pain. I used this opportunity to go for his heart, and the knife connected. He was teleported to the preparation room, where the wounds he received in the special arena were reversed. At this point, Alroy was just a few paces behind me, and he used Ignillus to stab towards me. I blocked with my knife. The knife started melting. Of course it would. This always happened. I would almost win a match, then my weapon would break. Steel was no match against the Keeper weapons. The flame spear Ignillus melted my weapon, then impaled me. I was teleported to the preparation room and my injuries were reversed. A few seconds later, Lilith was defeated. Alroy and Lilith had their wounds reversed.

"I'm sorry, Elryn!" Lilith sobbed. She looked like she could burst into tears at any second.

"It's fine, Lilith. It wasn't your fault." I tried to reassure her, but I know that it won't make any difference. It always ends this way after a fight.

"But I'm such a useless Spirit, I can't even fight!" Now she did start crying.

"It's my fault. I'm too weak to handle a Spirit stronger than you." Again, I tried to make her feel better, and when I said this, she stopped crying. I thought I did a good job, but she looked mad for some reason.

"Are you calling me weak?!" She practically screamed this. She looked very offended. It wasn't what I meant at all, but I can see how it could be taken that way.

"How about we go back to our room, we're probably both tired after that match." I tried my hardest to change the subject. I fell into this trap after our first match, and it ended with me getting no sleep because Lilith complained all night. Every single match had the same conversation after it.

"No, let's finish this conversation." She isn't letting up. I really don't like where this is going.

"I'd rather not. I remember the last time we had this conversation, and I didn't get to sleep because you were complaining all night." I'm trying to reason with her, but I feel like it won't work.

"So now I'm annoying?!" I just made it worse. "I'll show you how annoying I can be!" This is looking very bad. I didn't want to have to use this, but I guess I have no choice.

"How about as an apology, I get some Ice cream for you tomorrow?" It may not look like it, but I know my partner. One mention of anything sweet, and she's putty in your hands.

"Ice cream? I guess that will make up for it. Only if it's a parfait, though." I knew it. Sweets could get me out of any argument with Lilith.

"Fine."

After that, we had an uneventful walk back to our dorm.

Ch 2 - Discussion

We returned to our room together. There was another reason that I was odd. Most of the time, Keepers contracted Spirits of the same sex, but I have a female Spirit, while I am male. But all Keepers shared a room with their Spirits, and I was no exception, even if it was awkward for the first few months.

We got into the room and started getting undressed. We had accidentally seen each other naked so many times over the past year that we didn't even try to hide it anymore. I looked over at my partner. She had long, pure white hair, with light blue eyes. She had a modest bust and was a bit on the short side. She had pale skin. Then I looked in the mirror. I have short, light brown hair with crimson eyes, was average height, and have pale skin.

After we both bathed (separately) and got dressed, we decided to go see everybody in the cafe area. We called our friends and told them to meet us there. After we arrived we got a table and placed our order. I got my usual, black tea, and Lilith got hers, a cup of coffee. After a few minutes, Alroy and Silvius walked in and sat down with us. Alroy had red, spiky hair, red eyes, and was tall and tan. Silvius was also tall, but had blonde hair and yellow eyes. He was not as tan as Alroy, but very tan compared to me.

"Hey Roy! How's it going?" I knew how this was going to go. I was not excited about this upcoming conversation.

"It's pretty good, just won my match yesterday!" I called it. He always did this. After winning a match he would brag about it for days.

"Well I hear you were up against a pretty weak team. I also heard you almost lost." I said this with pride, as if almost winning actually meant something.

" Damn right they were weak, the Spirit can't even attack!" Silvius decided to add this, and as soon as he said it, I had a very bad feeling that I would have to comfort a sad Lilith. It was the same thing every match.

"Waah! I know I'm weak! But I'm trying! I'm so sorry Elryn!" Lilith said this while crying on the floor, half-hugging my legs.

"I already told you, it's fine. I should have come up with a better plan." I said this to try and comfort Lilith, even though I knew it wouldn't help.

"Hey man, can you come here for a second?" Roy took me away into a corner. This was new. Usually, he would brag in front of everyone. Do I have the honor of having a special one-on-one brag session?

"Man, why are you not going out with her?! She's amazing! She's so devoted to you! And you share a room with her!" He can't be serious. He knew the rules.

"Roy, you know that Spirits and Keepers are not allowed to have romantic relationships. Plus, Cecilia would be really mad." I said this as if Cecilia were my girlfriend.

"Cecilia? She's not your girlfriend. She would have no right to be mad." He hit the nail on the head. Cecilia would have no right to be mad, but that wouldn't stop her.

"You know how she is. Plus, she would drive Lilith out of town. Lilith isn't the most courageous person in the world, and Cecilia is terrifying when she's mad." I said this like Cecilia driving people out of town was a common occurrence. "Don't you remember last week? A girl asked me a question in class and Cecilia gave her a thirty minute lecture about not 'stealing her man'"

We were talking about our friend Cecilia. She had brown hair with blue eyes. She was about my height. She also wore glasses. She had an above average bust, was pale, and she was very "protective" of me. She had an odd obsession with me. We weren't in a relationship, but she liked to think we were. I didn't have anything against her, but we never became official. I don't plan on asking anytime soon, for fear that she would be offended that I didn't think we were already dating, and she doesn't seem to notice that she had never asked me. It's… complicated.

We walked back over and saw that Cecilia and Persephone, her Spirit, had arrived. Persephone had dark purple hair and red eyes. She was the same height as Cecilia. She had somewhat tan skin, a large bust, and was a complete and utter… sadist. She even asked Cecilia to let her finish off all of their opponents in matches. She was very nice despite that small… quirk.

"Elryn!" Cecilia happily yelled my name and ran over to hug me.

"Hi Cecilia." I said this with enthusiasm, as anything less would caused her to go on a quest to hunt down whoever made me sad.

"I watched your match! You were amazing! You definitely would have won if your knife hadn't broken." She sounded so impressed with my almost-win.

"No, I should have planned for that possibility, especially going against the flame spear." I didn't want to seem like it was luck that I lost. In fact, this is the fourth time that a broken knife had lost me the match.

"Don't worry! I love you even though you are the weakest." She said this while squeezing me even harder than before.

"Umm… could you let go of me now? It's starting to hurt a bit." Despite how it may seem, Cecilia has the most brute strength of all Keepers at the academy.

"Oh! I'm sorry!" She released me from the death grip she called a hug and apologized.

We all sat down, and after we got our drinks, we started talking.

"Have you gotten any closer to getting a real weapon?" Roy said this knowing fully well that I hadn't.

"No, I'm still trying to figure it out." I said with a downcast expression. Ever since I forged the contract, I've been trying to get a real Keeper weapon. Nothing has worked.

"I would let you use my Cadlfir, but Keeper weapons are specific to their wielders." Cecelia tried to cheer me up, but she knew it was useless.

"Not to mention that I couldn't even hold that giant axe! It's way too heavy for me!" I may be able to wield any type of weapon because of my extensive studying of battle techniques, but if it was too heavy, no amount of skill could help me.

"I'm still trying to figure out my powers as well."

"What if you don't have any powers? Then you'll be useless to Elryn forever." Silvius taunted Lilith. He loved teasing her like this.

"W-what? N-n-no! I can't let that happen! Wah! I'm sorry I'm so useless, Elryn!" Here she goes again. She never learned to just tune out the things that Silvius says.

"You shouldn't say mean things like that, Silvius. Save it for your next match. Then you can be as mean as you want." She said this with red cheeks, probably imagining the next match.

"Lilith, I have told you multiple times that it's fine. And Silvius, I told you that you need to stop that. And Persephone, you're blushing thinking about beating up people during your next match." I had to go through this every single time. I have such a dysfunctional friend group.

We continued talking like this until it was time to eat. We ate dinner at the cafe and all headed our separate ways. When we got back, Lilith and I both got into our beds and went to sleep.