A meeting finally (29/08/08)




Somnion had been called out again by putting thoughts into his head. He really hated that way of communicating but he would let it slide this time, for he'd been getting frustrated with things and now he might finally get answers.


He stopped when he saw the same hooded figure that gave him the sword last time. He still didn't feel his presence, though. It was still eerie, looking at someone who didn't feel to be there.

Maybe this time he'd learn more about this spellcaster.

[Why don't you come closer?] The question reached Nion and echoed in his head.


Last time he'd been unsure of what would've been an appropriate distance to stay at, but now he was apparently welcome to get close.


Nion didn't see much under the hood but the glimpse he got of the stranger's profile seemed familiar. Not in the way that he'd seen the man before, but in the way that he should perhaps know him. This time the stranger was carrying a sword himself, one that looked detailed and nasty. Nion would be in trouble if he were to use that, his swordskills weren't that good.

[Have you familiarized yourself with the Claymore?]


[I have... it feels strong and the swings flow lightly, but...]
[But?]


Nion looked at the sword in his hands, a bit hesitant.

[It's been sealed... and I can't pull it out of the sheath]


The stranger seemed amused;
[Have you asked it to let you draw?]


[Asked...? It's a sword.]


[You need to learn of certain facts in this world, child.]
He took a step forward.


And Nion's Claymore pulsed in his hand.


[Don't be impatient, now. All in good time.]
The man spoke but not to Nion, he directed the words to his sword.


[What is going on here? I don't understand any of it... The atmosphere here is strange and doesn't allow proper magics, and yet...]

He jumped to the stranger.


[And yet you're using all kinds. Who are you?]


[The air is just different to what you are used to. It allows just as much as your world.]

Different? Different how? Nion had tried just about everything.


[As for who I am...]


[I am Khepre, 'the dead warrior'.]


Somnion was dumbfoulded. He'd heard stories; read about him. But Khepre died in a battle against another clan a thousand years ago.
[You are... Khepre? But he's dead.]


[Yes... So they say. Our clan is proud one, I'm sure you have noticed, as are the elders. They would never admit that there is a wanderer amongst them. Just as they will never admit your banishment. Making me into a warrior who died in honor is their way accepting my existence.]
[They've... made it all up? But how do you know this? How did you get here?]

Nion had so many questions without answers and the man... Khepre, frustratingly selected just a few to answer.


[I got here the same way as you did. By crossing dimensions.]
[I didn't... I was banished.]
[That is what the elders call it, for they don't know the full effects of the spell. That knowledge has been lost to our world for several millenia.]

So, instead of a death sentence everyone, all the criminals, are sent... here?
[If that's true, everyone who gets banished ends up here, then?]


[No... There are a hundred dimensions and the spell doesn't specify where one is being sent. Beings 'banished' from our world have scattered all across worlds. Just a handful end up here.]
[You know about the stories of your death... and of all these dimensions. How?]

Khepre sighed.
[I said I was a wanderer. I became one because I was not happy of the elders taking over, and found a way to cross dimensions. I have travelled through a dozen different worlds, but this one pleases me the most. This, Earth, is also the calmest and safest one I've come across.]

He knew so much, he was so experienced... and strong, Nion knew it although he couldn't feel him there. Noticing Somnion and his failed magic attemps wouldn't be hard for someone of his caliber.


[Safest. But you warned me of a hunter?]
[Safest does not mean danger-free. Yes, there is a hunter approaching, looking for the likes of us, and you do not want to be caught unprepared when it strikes.]


***

Nion had relaxed somewhat and the strangeness of talking to someone that wasn't there was slowly passing.


[You are the spitting image of Noxnion...]
The name brought a bad taste to Nion's mouth.

[I'm nothing like him.]
 
His father was a bastard, a slave to the elders, always speaking of rules and regulations.


[No... your personality is your mother's. Her I knew very well, for we are closely related.]
[You... knew her?]

Nion had never met her, his father and other members of the clan raised him and never told him what happened to her.

 

[Yes... I saw her in you right away, and I am glad she still lives on, even if just in you.]


She was really dead, then. Nion didn't know how to feel sad about someone he'd never met but the new knowledge left him feeling melancholy.


[I am not helping you just because we are kin, but also because she would have wanted me to.]
Nion was silent.


[The hunter. I've read about them and they're supposed to be strong warriors beyond belief. How can being prepared help me, if I were to ever meet one?]

Somnion was less sceptical about the existance of one now. This world was indeed different and he was there, humans were there, so why not a hunter, too?


[They are strong, yes, but their magics are weak. They shapeshift and are close to the nature, but that it the extent of their power. Still, do not underestimate them.]


[And I told you: your Claymore will aid you. Just talk to it.]

Seemed like Nion would need to learn to be more open minded... Crossing dimensions, speaking to swords... meeting hunters.


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