Chapter 57: Another, Part I

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 457


When the crossbreed slowed to a stop, Lance did as well, casting his eyes towards the town in front of them. A short wall lined the buildings, seeming to be made up entirely of translucent energy. Small, white engravings swirled inside. It almost looked like clear, decorated glass.

Lance looked away, watching Zidane raise his hand against the tree in front of him, palm pressing flat and eyes closing. A moment later, his clothes changed, the purple robe morphing into something else.

A long sleeve shirt with a large neck, one that bunched and folded over itself a few times. The shirt was long, but cut at an angle, revealing one black, denim-clothed leg wrapped with two buckles. Narrow boots blended in with the dark fabric.

"God, their fashion is ridiculous sometimes," Zidane breathed, adjusting the cuff of the sleeve and attempting to pull it over his hand.

The fabric bounced back as he let go, too short to hide his blood-red marking. He growled, looking for front pockets but finding none. He folded his arms, one arm supporting the hand underneath his jaw. Dark eyes looked to Lance, and with a small flick of the hand, Lance's clothes changed to something identical.

Lance was immediately uncomfortable. He grounded his feet, trying to get used to the slight heel inside the boots.

"Ridiculous is a total understatement..." Fucking ludicrous is more like it...

Quickly raising his eyebrows in agreement, Zidane hurried on, heading towards the town's entrance. "We'll hurry up and find Yittek as soon as possible. It's taking a lot of energy to keep our clothes this way."

Lance matched his pace. "What happens if you run out?"

"I'm not sure," Zidane said after a small hesitation. "If anyone finds out I brought a human in here, it's going to get real ugly real fast."

That's reassuring...

"Thanks for the honesty," Lance said, his sarcasm subtle. He looked up, seeing they were only steps away from crossing into the town's open entrance. However, he couldn't see any Razaleks inside. The town looked deserted.

He nearly slowed, shock hindering the speed of his steps for only a moment before they stepped into the village.

Razaleks were everywhere now, walking about. Their height took Lance by surprise, and again he nearly stopped moving. He felt a slight tug on his sleeve, Zidane forcing him to walk faster. Already, Lance saw those around them noticing their presence. The Razaleks closest to them stopped moving, their conversations dying down. Lance could feel their eyes on him, he could feel the growing number of not people, but thingsRazaleks—scrutinizing his every move. He wasn't walking like a Spiro would walk. He wasn't doing this right.

"Lance, I need you to calm down." Zidane's voice, speaking inside his head. "They won't attack you. We're alright."

A calm emotion touched Lance. He breathed again, bringing his focus to his immediate surroundings. Zidane had let go of his sleeve; that was good. He just had to keep walking, keep moving, and soon they'd be away from here.

But all at once he could feel energy subtly pushing him. Pressing against his feet, his legs, his arms. They weren't trying to trip him... It was a test, like the plant before. They were trying to read his energy, figure out exactly what he was.

In addition to these pushes, Lance felt a soft force expelling them back. He could only guess that it was Zidane's energy, misting around him like a barrier, making the pushes less intense.

Lance's mind went to the fact Zidane didn't hide his tail. His markings went exposed to. Why reveal himself like this, and dress in their clothes, too? Wasn't this making his presence—his existence, even—that much more insulting?

Zidane's voice came into his mind, answering the question Lance never voiced.

"Dressing like them lets us know we're going on their level. Think of it like a sign of respect."

So it's like saying we understand them, Lance returned, the idea clicking.

"Right. Exactly."

The pressure against Lance's head lifted, signifying Zidane had withdrawn their mental connection. As the seconds went on, Lance dared to lift his head, feeling his neck ache at the movement. They were still making their way through the Razaleks, and thankfully none were stepping in the way to block their path. They were just... standing there, horribly furious.

A row of knots formed in Lance's stomach but as he looked down he noticed something. Most of them weren't staring at him. They were looking at Zidane. They were letting him know that even if they couldn't kill him without breaking the treaty, they wanted to.

How can he stand this? He forced himself to sneak a glance, surprised to see Zidane standing tall, walking like the town was still empty. His eyes weren't even that dark...

Lance straightened, looking back and staring straight ahead. Watching the tall bodies pass by, but focusing on nothing. This was easy. They could do this...

The pressures moving against him increased, hitting more spots than before. They dug into his skin and Lance ground his teeth against the pain. He felt Zidane's energy curl around his shoulder, gently picking the pressure off the way one would pick up a leaf. Non-aggressive. They were trying to leave as quietly as they'd come.

Zidane turned, beginning to round another corner. Lance followed, seeing this new pathway nearly deserted. The few Razaleks that were there immediately turned; attention snapping towards them like wolves sensing meat. Lance's stomach shrunk at their gazes, but he returned to looking ahead.

I guess this is how Zidane feels all the time. This is the mask he puts on.

Someone stepped out of a nearby alleyway, the sudden movement catching Lance's eye. Zidane suddenly stopped walking, Lance stopping along with him.

Submitted: December 04, 2019

© Copyright 2023 Meaghan Kalena. All rights reserved.


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