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Xia Shenlong blinked.
The stranger had fainted again. Xia still didn't know who he was. Or why she had brought him home with her. Xia felt as though she should trust him completely.
But she never remembered meeting him, only having seen him in the park. She shook her head and paused.
Xia had already helped the strange dark-skinned man back onto the couch. "Why do I want to help him so much?"
She cursed herself. This urge to help him only made her more irritated. Then came the knocking.
Xia sighed and answered her front door.
A young man with arms full of groceries greeted her. Xia blinked. "Hey Xia mind giving me a hand, eh?"
She moved quickly, grabbing a bag from his arms. She tried to hide her joy at the sound of her brothers' voice, the sight of his face.
"Kyle, what brings you back here?" Xia resisted the urge to ask him in Mandarin. Kyle had never kept up with their mother's native language, despite the direction his life had taken him.
"Can't a brother visit his older sister?"
"Please. We both know why you left. You were the one who chose not to call me-"
"You can't get involved in it, Z. I know it upsets you, but its my Task, not yours to worry about."
"You can't take it all on your own-"
"No Z, I'm not going to talk about this. Look, I was in the neighborhood and thought I'd come and visit my only living relative on this continent, ok? Let me cook you a meal and we can catch up on-" Kyle paused when he saw the stranger on the couch. "Z, who is that?"
Kyle tilted his head. "I didn't mean to interrupt anything, Z, I can come back later-"
"No! Its just a..." Xia couldn't find herself able to lie to her brother. She'd always been honest with him, even after their mother had died nine years before. Kyle's father had been her stepfather, but Xia never remembered anyone before him. But both of them had been taken from Xia and Kyle. Lies about what had happened didn't help either of them.
"I don't remember why he is here. I woke up in the park this morning, and he had been standing over me, so I punched him-"
"And took him home with you? Why?" Kyle's brow furrowed. "Was anything else involved?"
"No, I don't think so. I remember blacking out, but I didn't see anything that-"
"Z, we both know what sort of things can lurk out there. Did you take any precautions at all?"
Xia felt annoyed with him. "Of course I did! I used the same talismans as I always do Kyle! I remember what to look out for. I'm not going to just let any tainted spirit take me down-"
"What are you two arguing about?"
Xia and Kyle turned to the man on the couch.
"Honest," Noir grumbled, "I'm a fucking necromancer, but tainted spirit is a little beyond me. Also, one of the two of you is a undead corpse I made. Could you get me a bite to eat? I think my blood sugar might be a bit low. I keep blacking out here."