“Hummm….” He pondered, more interested in me than whatever progress I made... “I never asked, what is it you do? I’ve never seen a power like yours before.”
I then went back to my previous position as I rested, as there was no point in hang around back there. “Why do you ask?”
“If I understand it as well as you do, maybe I can help think of a way out.” He made a fair point. “… But I’m just curious, I want to hear about your powers.” And then went back to his standard self rather quickly.
“Well, I can’t argue with that.” I shrugged. “My old master called it ‘Influence’, when I focus my mana, I can create an aura that when in contact with something allows me to control its properties, even if just a little.”
“Cool! So, you can make it do whatever you want?”
quite, there are a few rules to it… Let me show you…” I picked up the left over
can of beans and enveloped it in a bubble with my aura.
“In a sense I can do whatever I want, but it’s limited by my own skill and body…” The can lifted in the air as I used it to aid visually while I explained. “In my aura right now, there is a metal can and leftover beans, but also a bit of air and some moisture. I can seal my aura so that nothing gets in or out, then I can separate each of those components one by one forming 4 different spheres.”
And so, the elements formed four spheres, a large metal one, a small one made of leftover beans, a tiny one made of water and the last one made of gas I could still tell it was there, just unseen. “I can do with these whatever I want, I can take or leave which parts I want and if need be, I can copy anything that there is too little off…” I said making the water and bean sphere larger to match the size of the metal one.
“Cooooool…” His eyes widened and he sounded excited like a child with a new toy.
“Yeah, Cool… I guess… But there are some caveats, one I can’t make things disappear, which I wished I’d thought about before I created this much beans.”
“I can make them disappear…” He grinned enthusiastically at the prospect of more food… I wasn’t going to deny him it so I feed him the bean sphere. Normally anyone would immediately dislike it as the flavor is not exactly the same, so I expected a reaction, he noticed the difference as he tilted his head lightly, but just shrugged.
And I continued on. “Two… Whatever I create using this power is not exactly real, it will exist and act just like the real thing for a while, but then it will disappear out of thin air… So, it might have taste, but you could eat kilos of this stuff and not feel full.”
“Got it… *Gulp*… Still feels good on the way down though.” He smirked like I was supposed to understand what he meant… I didn’t though.
So once again, I continued. “Well, three I can’t make complex things with moving parts, it just doesn’t work if I don’t have a perfect understanding of everything that goes into it, even then it’s not easy…. And four, whatever I create takes a toll on my body, just moving things around is generally easy depending on the thing, but creating things drains a lot out of me, especially when it’s something hard to control like gases… So, I try to not do it whenever possible.”
“I see… It’s a lot more limited than I thought, to be honest, now I think it sucks…” He pointed out a valid thing but still it was rather blunt… A quality I would later find I needed a lot of getting used to.
“Thanks…” I squinted at him as I filled with sarcasm.
“It’s the truth…” He shrugged again, like it was no big deal.
Yeah, it’s not much… But once I get a piece of something, I can usually
manipulate it well. See?” I reverted the can back into its original form and laid
it down, then I focused solely on the water sphere contorting it around and
making it change shapes and forms. “And if I focus a lot, I can give it speed
and launch it.” I fired a spit sized projectile at the wall that splattered all
over leaving behind a faint smell of canned beans.
“That’s pretty much it…”
Azreth just couldn’t fake excitement for this. “Well it’s… Interesting at least.”
To be honest it bugged me more than it should, most people don’t get to see my powers, to have someone see it and call it unimpressive was quite deflating. “Well, I’m sorry my magic powers do not amuse you… I’m sure you’re used to all sorts of crazy magic but not all of us can be the new Al’manus!”
face got a lot more judgmental and his eyes felt like sharp daggers on me. “You’ve
gotten too comfortable with me way too quickly to be making those comments… I
don’t like your tone mister!”
I immediately began to recoil and my fur started to raise, it was instinct, completely out of my control, whenever someone pressured to hard and I knew I was in the wrong, I just folded.
He then let out a playful snort as he tried to touch me with his feet which I dodged. “You’re just so easy to fool Vernon, it’s like you don’t see malice at all.”
I appreciated his levity as even in a serious situation like this he was able to joke so effortlessly, yet I was grumpy and pouted. “We shouldn’t be joking around like this.”
“Aight… So, can you maybe affect the cage?” He pointed up towards where the chains were welded.
“I can try… But not up there, it’s too visible.” I once again went behind him.
“And you’re a shorty…” He provoked and grinned like a child.
I once again pouted. “Stop it!” But looking back on it, It was amusing to have him playing around, even if I wouldn’t admit it.
approached his tail and this time I did the same thing but with the metal
surface where his tail was nailed onto the ground… As the aura expanded I had
to carefully position myself as to not allow light to permeate outside since
the surface was so big.
Once I got a decent part under my influence I started to try and bend it, I could feel the solid piece of metal rattle, and I should have been able to move it under different circumstances, it was a lot of effort and no pay off… something was interfering with it and I had as suspicion as to what.
“Not working… Do these things neutralize mana?”
“Adamantine does….” He looked at me puzzled then motioned me forward. “Come back to the front my neck hurts enough as is.”
Sensing there was nothing to do I moved around him once again and sat at my usual spot. “How do we do this? Think!” I said mostly to myself.
“Can you make a key?” He said motioning once again to his arms and waving the chains around. “Maybe a lockpick?”
“Not quite… If I had the original, I could certainly make a copy... But in this situation it would be easier just to get the key itself.”
“Can you maybe fill the keyhole with metal, then harden it and just… Turn?”
“The pins inside would need to be at the perfect alignment and I doubt I could do that with the interference… But it’s worth a shot.” I said then approached him once again forcing my influence onto the metal can, then bending it attempting to fill the lock with it, but once it got to less than a meter of the chain my influence faltered and it rested on my hand.
puffed in indignation. “Well this sucks… it’s really close, but just out of
reach with your powers.”
I thought long and hard to try and get anything out of this situation and the more I thought about the least I could see… But then he came up with a question and I knew what he was proposing. “Can you use your influence on people?”
That question in particular sent a plethora of bad memories onto my head and immediately caused me to go back down and hold my knees. “No…” I answered, but it was obvious to anyone that was not the case.
And Azreth was a very perceptive guy. “That sounds less like a ‘no, I can’t’ and more like a ‘no, I won’t’.”
“It’s just… Don’t ask me to do that to you.” I tried to trail him off and drop this subject.
Which in turn made him insist harder. “Does it hurt? I promise you I can take a lot of pain, just try it!”
“Azreth…” I tried to get this across as much as I could, but I just couldn’t bear to remember it. “… I can’t…” It was all I could say.
“If it’s like that… Then ok.” He seemed to understand, or at the very least, he was kind enough to drop it. “… So, any more ideas?”
We were again at an impasse, nothing I could think about would solve it, none of the usual stuff worked. I took another look at the shackles and understood that this was the only way… “Who has the key?”
He immediately rejected it and ranted. “Absolutely not!”
“It’s with the captain isn’t it? Which one is his tent?” I started to stand up to look.
He grabbed me by the coat and pulled me down with his foot, he had more strength in between two toes than I had in my entire body. “I SAID NO!” He cried out. “You agreed to my terms… No risking your life, and getting that key out of HIM is the riskiest thing you could possibly do here. He is a half-bred, he is going to beat you into a pulp, and I don’t want to watch that!”
“We need to look into the possibility… They are all starting to go to sleep, sneaking out should be easier, there are going to be around five lookouts, I can steal it and get back here in no time.”
“Assuming he is asleep!” He pointed out. “It’s too dangerous Vernon, you agreed to it, get your shit and go!” He was clearly way past the normal point where he could contain his anger, he was almost screaming.
I couldn’t talk to him like this, he is so worried… It even felt comforting to
have someone looking out for me for once.
I peeked over the top and looked around making a point not to alert anyone, as predicted there were only two sets of guards awake a few of them were sitting around a fireplace near the front of the convoy, two were patrolling around the wagons.
“Stop ignoring me! I said no!” He called again, this time I could tell he was serious.
My fur got up and I began to get twitchy… Even though I knew he wasn’t going to hurt me now, he still scared me so much… “I’ll be right back!”
“NO!” He cried out in whispers. “Vernon don’t do this! LEAVE ME!”
drowned him out, I could tell how frustrated he was, I could tell he was
literally fuming as his nostrils began to puff a single line of blue smoke and
his eyes desperately screamed to me not to go… But seeing him like that only
made the feeling stronger and solidified my determination.
I was trying to help him and he was worried about my safety as opposed to his own freedom… If a guy like Azreth wasn’t worth helping, who would ever be?
went up to the gate, luckily the anti-magic properties did not get to it, I
could easily unlock both the jail cell and the door to outside by merely
pulling the locking mechanism out of place.
I took I quiet look over and under before opening the door,
Then I remembered it creaked really loud and shut it as fast as I could. Since this was not my first rodeo, I had a trick for that involving my influence and decent amount of spit spread over the hinge.
As I was doing that however I did notice Azreth had forgotten what was happening for long enough to irk at the sight, I shrugged… I admit it wasn’t pretty or sanitary, but it got the job done.
now lubricated door was silent and allowed me to sneak out, just in time as the
patrol was moving around the corner and turning back at the same time I was
coming out of it. I lowered myself beneath the wagon and hid in between the
I noticed there were a few tents around the convoy, but it was easy to tell where the racoon would be, the largest tent with all the lights inside was a dead giveaway.
In the cover of night it was easier to move, me being small and covered in dark and dirty clothes made it almost impossible for them to single me out, I was also lucky it wasn’t full-moon as the clear starry night sky did little to hide anyone and if it were any brighter I’d have been spotted immediately.
I inched bit by bit moving beneath the wagons to ensure no one would spot me, though my heart was turned on to maximum beats per second there were few things in my way, so all I had to do was wait around and hope nothing unpredictable happened.
The worst part was waiting for the patrol guys to take a leak before they would return to the campfire. It felt like it lasted for a whole hour and I was just lying there beneath the wagon trying to look the other way… Thank the gods it wasn’t aimed at the wagon, I reeked enough as I was.
finally broke out and took cover in the tall grass our of camp, I began to move
a lot more swiftly now, I noticed from there I could see the taller wagon
Azreth was held onto, I couldn’t see him, but I was sure he was watching.
I went all around until I reached the backside of the tent where the captain laid, this was a canvas tent, or duffle, I couldn’t tell at a glance… Suffice to say, it’s really hard to cut through with a standard knife but for me it was easy to influence a thin hole which allowed me to peek inside, I made a point to pick a spot that I thought wouldn’t be in direct line of sight of someone inside.
The interior was much larger than the rest of the tents, the floor had a red carpet and there was enough room in there for a desk, a lamp, a stand, a private vat and a queen sized bed… It was so fancy I just couldn’t help but to think he was overpaid.
Personal notes aside, there was something of importance in there, namely a racoon laying in his undies snoring and drooling peacefully, he wasn’t really the important bit but I noticed he was alone in the tent, so if knocked him out I’d be able to search more carefully and freely.
I made up my mind, I was going in.