Part of the Golden Fog Academy series.

Same creature as the previous story, different perspective.

This whole world felt awfully empty. I couldn’t pick any form of mana up in the ambient air. Granted, I’d already been in very low-magic worlds where I couldn’t use magic before, but being unable to even detect mana was a completely new experience for me.

At some point, I heard a horn blowing in my direction. Another one quickly imitated the first, and soon, a huge concert of horns had formed. Apparently, these highly disagreeable sounds were caused by the big metallic boxes which were surrounding me.
I assumed my presence annoyed them. After all, there weren’t many lifeforms who could stare at me and not be disturbed – why would they have been any different?

Suddenly, something grabbed on one of my limbs and started pulling.

Right… no mana meant my presence detection powers weren’t working. I looked at the creature who’d just attacked me – a human – and yanked it off me before taking a few steps to get away from it. It looked satisfied, and went back in the box it’d come from to leave. At least its skin hadn’t been metal.

I’d started running. As usual when arriving in a new world, I didn’t have a particular objective in mind. I just wanted to see as many things as possible, to try and determine whether this world contained anything worthy of my interest.

There weren’t many variations in the landscape. It was mostly compound of grass, trees, concrete and buildings, with the occasional body of water forcing me to take turns.
The fauna contained a lot of annoyingly metallic creatures such as the ones I’d first met. Humans were frequent too; I reckoned these two biospheres had some sort of symbiotic relationship in this world.

Metallic birds had started following me from high altitudes. So far, they hadn’t tried anything, but I still couldn’t help but regularly take a glance upward.

They sure seemed to be getting closer and closer to me every time I checked.

Somehow, the humans and the metallic boxes had managed to figure my weakness to metal out, and they’d used it to trap and catch me. I was now being restrained in one of the boxes’ belly, and not enjoying it one bit.

A small, bald human was sitting next to me. It was staring at my surface, apparently trying to learn more about me. Its lips were moving; apparently, it was trying to communicate with me. I couldn’t understand its language.

I sighed. I was in another cage, and it looked like this one was designed to detain me for a pretty long time. At least it didn’t have a metallic floor; I could move freely within its walls.

I decided to sit down and meditate.

He’d sure taken his time. “I’m here to retrieve you,’ he unnecessarily declared. Boring.

I stood up and approached him, deciding to try and persuade him not to bring me back ‘home’. It hadn’t ever worked before – Dalwyn always was the one to go after me precisely because he was exceptionally resistant to negotiation -, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t worth trying.

When he produced his iron rope, I sighed. This cage I was in was way too small for me to even try and dodge his attacks. It was going to be a boring chase for both of us.

“You know,” he started while stepping into the portal he’d created as soon as he’d managed to bind me, “I don’t have anything personal against you. I’m just doing my job.”

“Do you even know why Zerua wants to keep me in a cage?”

He shrugged. “None of my concern,” he declared.

Zerua looked at me, visibly annoyed. I defiantly stared back at her, trying to ignore the pain Dalwyn’s iron rope was causing me.

She patiently waited until I was free from my bounds and alone with her before talking to me.

“Stella… do you actually remember why I’m keeping you restrained in a cage?”

I sighed. “You’ve told me a thousand times already, Zerua. I’m a constant threat to the dimensional integrity of the worlds I set foot in, because of this multidimensional aura of mine.”

She nodded. “I am searching for a way to put it off,” she reminded me, “but could you please stay here until then? I’d rather you don’t accidentally destroy a world or cause a genocide.”

“You’ve been ‘searching’ for ages,” I replied. “I can’t help but wonder whether you’re trying.”

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Posted on: 2012-05-07

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