Magician's Journey:

Chapter 49

Pallo felt a shiver running back from her nose to her tail – the air was getting colder. She didn’t like it. It was late summer, her winter coat hadn’t even started to grow back. It didn’t help that she was heading toward something magical, either. A sudden, negative change and a supernatural force that was less than a quarter mile away. It boded poorly, and the surface of the water was too slippery to fight well on.
“Oh! Pallo, look! There’s a huge chunk of floating ice! It’s like… a hill, but made of ice. An ice-hill. A pagos-lofos. A glace-colline. An ijs-berg.” A curious sparkle shone in Thomas’s eye as he reached for his staff, which he had tied to his bag after it fell into the seawater earlier. “Ijs-berg… Ijsberg… Iceberg. Huh, almost sounds like a real word if I say it fast enough.” He leaped off of Pallo’s back, placing his staff under his feet as he fell. “{Ventra, Respum! Instrum, Motta-Khiter!}” Thomas’s staff launched off towards the ice-hill. For a few seconds, there was silence. “Pallo! You have to see this!”
Pallo slid to a halt at the base of the ice-hill, then hesitantly slunk over to Thomas – the strange smell from earlier growing stronger with each step. The scent reached its height at the peak of the ice-hill, where Pallo finally got the chance to see the mysterious creature. Just as she’d thought, the… thing was feline in shape, but larger than any cat – about as tall as Thomas to be precise. It was still only a third as tall as Pallo in true form, though, which was comforting. It also had two foot long fangs protruding downward out of its mouth, but Pallo didn’t find them particularly menacing.
The creature turned towards Pallo. “<Yo. Name’s Meke.>” Meke moved with absolute confidence, Pallo couldn’t smell even a trace of fear on them. It was clear that Meke hadn’t faced anything even resembling a threat for decades. “<What’s yours?>”
Pallo glanced toward Thomas, searching for reassurance in the form of confidence. He came through almost immediately. “{She’s Pallo, and I’m Thomas! Pleased to meet you Meke.}”
“<I was asking the wolf… but seeing as she’s a pack hunter and a familiar, she probably has all the autonomy of an un-programmed robot.>” Meke glanced around apathetically. “<So… whatever.>” Thomas started to ask a question but was swiftly cut off. “<Don’t bother asking what a robot is. I have no intention of wasting my time spoon feeding you information.>”
“{Oh… Okay…}” Thomas glanced awkwardly toward the frost below him. “{Wouldn’t programming something reduce its autonomy? Or is there a second definition to the word I’m unaware of?}”
Meke stared blankly at Thomas for a while, then proceeded to pretend he’d never said anything. “<Anyway, the address you have for Tokka -” Meke scowled in the way only an annoyed feline could. “- or Adalric, as you know him – is twelve years out of date. So I’m here to bring you to when – yes, when – the new residence is.>” Thomas started to speak again, but was once more cut off. “<If you ask me what an address is, I will ditch you in the cretaceous.>” Meke shot a glare at Pallo. “<Cut your growling, you’re about as scary as a wet tissue. Come on, let’s get this over with.>”
Dark smoke started to swirl in the sky, as quiet ripples echoed across the ocean surface and lights moved in predatory circles deep below.
“<Heads up: the spirits that guide us through time can be real…>” Meke paused. “<What did that punk with the bird call them? Oh, yeah – drama queens. They can be real drama queens.>”


A note from the author ninja:

Meke is a very very old and powerful creature. He is not easily intimidated.

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