In order to get his senior vessel license, Yangyang has to help three lost souls with specific lost soul stories. Being a lost soul vessel, part of his power is knowing how the person has died in order to give him peace before the soul proceeds to the afterlife. Back in the Academy of the Chosen Vessels, where different vessels train in order to do their jobs properly, they were trained to hold and separate their human emotions on the job. It’s extremely hard and sad sometimes since these souls are special cases of dead people, but it’s always fulfilling whenever a lost soul finds their way to successfully enter the afterlife.
He’s currently on the hunt for his last lost soul on his license upgrade list: a man who died in the arms of his lover.
This kind of case might sound common to others, however, soul vessels can only help lost souls who they share their birthday with.
“But what if there are no more lost souls born on October 10th? Am I basically jobless??”
Yangyang hears Jaemin sigh over the phone, one day when he was ranting to him that afternoon he learned this rule in class. “Yangyang, there are more than 200 babies being born globally every minute, you wouldn’t run out of souls to save, drama queen.”
Speaking of Jaemin, he has to update his witch bestfriend his whereabouts, or else the older will have to send his familiar, Jeno, all over the world to find him again. He remembers the angry look and snarling Jeno gave to him in his samoyed form when he visited Jaemin last month. So he opens his phone quickly and sends his location over: Mt. Makiling, Philippines.
You see, lost souls normally gather in the most spiritual parts of the world. One of the largest lost soul sanctuaries in the Asia Pacific, Mt. Makiling is a popular spot for soul vessels to get their license upgrades. Yangyang got some luck when he was in Jirisan last year and finished his other requirements so he didn’t have to travel around and it’s his first time here in the Philippines. He had heard some stories from his classmates back in the academy that’s why he decided to try his luck in the new place.
“Kun-ge!” Yangyang dashes his way to the older soul vessel officer and hugs him tight. It’s been a while since he saw Kun since the latter was always assigned to different parts of the world by the academy to help novice soul vessels.
“Yangyang, it’s been a while. How are you?”
Yangyang smiles and pulls up his junior license with the two star stamps on the upper corner - these represent the souls he has helped that are also counted on his license upgrade list. Kun nods, immediately understanding his mission. “When are you going to give your offering to Maria?”
Mariang Makiling, the guardian of the mountain is a popular figure among soul vessels. The fairy is extremely protective of the mountain and it’s residents, even the lost souls roaming around it. Even though it’s their job to help lost souls, it is always a rule to respect the guardians of the mountains before proceeding.
“I have it with me, I’ll visit her tonight."
“Alright, you’re all set then. Oh, by the way, do you know Renjun Huang?”
Yangyang swallows the imaginary lump on his throat, it’s been a while since he heard his name. “I-I’m sorry?”
“Renjun Huang, I think you guys are in the same grade back in the academy, but I’m not sure if you were classmates or something. Anyway, he’s also here for his senior license requirement,” Kun smiles, totally oblivious to the butterflies running on Yangyang’s chest, “Do you want to go with him?”
Yangyang nods and smiles as he tries to calm himself down, clutching the basket of offering in his arms. Of course, he knows Renjun, more than Kun has to know. From secretly glancing back in the academy, Yangyang still can’t believe the beautiful man he used to admire is in front of him.
“Kun-ge told me that this is your last soul requirement as well, is that correct?” Renjun asks as they start to walk towards the shrine at the foot of the mountain where people leave their offerings. With the moon lighting up their way in the night, the two soul vessels can feel the presence of the lost souls wandering around the mountain.
“Yes, is it yours too? That’s good!”
Renjun nodded this time, “The last one is kind of hard to find, I am hoping I can help someone here in Makiling.”
Both reached the shrine and quietly placed their offerings near the other ones - which is a lot in Yangyang’s opinion. And it seems like the older noticed it too when Renjun says, “It seems like Mariang Makiling is loved by the townsfolk here.”
Yangyang lets out a small laugh, “It seems so. When do you plan to roam around?”
“I’ll start tomorrow morning so I can go with the travelers. Exploring the area through hiking seems like a good idea.”
Yangyang was about to suggest to go together when he felt a chill on his spine.
A soul. There’s a lost soul that needs his help.
“Yangyang, I need to go. I felt a signal just now, I have to find them.”
“Actually, I also received one.” Yangyang takes a deep breath and smiles at the older, “Nice meeting you, Renjun. Be careful.”
Renjun responds with a smile and nods, “You too. See you in the morning, Yangyang.”
It was not so long until Yangyang was alone again after Renjun left him to find the lost soul. They all have their own hunting strategies, as lost souls normally don’t see them immediately. Yangyang then whispers a locator spell to help him navigate through the mountain efficiently. And then he sees him. The soul of a man wearing a military uniform with a blood stain on his back. He’s wearing a hat, sitting on top of the big rocks.
Hendery Wong. Died in Hongkong in 1941. He was 23, a young and promising soldier. Sadly, he did not die while on duty, but at the hands of his lover, who was a hired spy who stabbed him in the chest to death while he was sleeping. He was a lost soul in need of closure of his sudden death.
Yangyang closes his eyes and tries to compose himself after learning the situation. He takes a deep breath before chanting the acceptance spell on the case of the lost soul.
I got you.