Van Ella stared into the eyes of her older self. She was beyond amazed. Her heart beat rapidly as she contemplated all the possibilities of meeting her future self. The green eyes that looked back at her were so familiar, like looking in a dusty mirror. Van Ella wondered at the scar below her left eye.
“How did you - er - I get that scar?” Van Ella reached up tentatively to touch her future self’s face.
The older Van Ella frowned. “Sorry younger self. Time travel’s a touchy thing. One false move and *poof*” She made an explosion with her hands, while her face squinched up with a boom sound.
Van Ella gasped. Should they even be talking to one another? She took a step back.
The older Van Ella laughed. She closed her eyes and chuckled loudly.
“Sorry younger me. It’s ok. I know what you’re thinking right now. Don’t forget - ” she closed one eye in wink and wagged her finger at Van Ella “- I’m you!”
“Ok, let’s get down to business, shall we?” her older self said, and gestured to Weland.
Van Ella was stunned by the energy, and passion with which her older self acted. Every movement was graceful and full of joy. She looked so much ... In control. Would she ever really be like that?
“We only have a little while before the sphere universe we are currently trapped in stops existing in our timeline, Van Ella. I know Brand hasn’t had a chance to teach you any magic yet. and you just got your Spell Book. But there’s literally nothing like the present to get you started!” The older Van Ella smiled gently.
“What? You’re going to teach me a spell? But, I’ve never - ” The younger Van Ella sputtered.
“Yeah yeah, I know. But my magic is blocked. I cannot escape this prison, and right now neither can you. It’s up to you to break this block. I can only show you how to do it, but our lives ... and your future depends on this.”
“Oh - okay. I’ll try.” Van Ella managed.
“That’s the spirit! You can do this! We can do this!”
Weland turned to regard them both. Younger Van Ella stared in wonder at the man Weland had become. He seemed so strong looking, and self assured. Though he still had the oversized glasses that made his eyes seem a bit bigger than normal.
“I’m going to touch your mind, Van Ella. Do not close me off. I have the spell to unbind my master, and I’m going to implant it in your consciousness.” He walked over and touched Van Ella’s forehead gently, but firmly.
Immediately, Van Ella’s sight triggered. She could see Weland and the older Van Ella through magic. The same almost overwhelming swarm of images, colors, arcane shapes and patterns surrounded Weland, and the dizzying array of magic symbols, slowly spinning discs of glyphs and forms covered her older self with color, movement, and complex patterns.
“Sorry” Weland almost whispered. “I know this is a lot happening so fast. I promise we won’t hurt you. And things will get less confusing from here on out. If memory serves.” He smiled sheepishly.
Van Ella swallowed hard. “I trust you.”
The older Van Ella burst out with a short laugh. “Ha! I haven’t heard that in a long time. How does that make you feel Weland?”
Weland tsked and stared at Van Ella intensely. “Ok, this is going to feel ... weird.” And he pushed the spell into her mind.
Van Ella cried out in something close to pain as a flood of numbers, symbols, and complex shapes entered her magic mind’s eye. It was almost like a slowly moving sword made of brilliant effervescent colors and shapes appeared before her.
“You see the spell?” The older Van Ella asked. There was a tension in her voice that the younger Van Ella instantly recognised. She realized that her older self was putting up a front of bravery, so that she herself wouldn’t panic. She took a deep breath.
“Yes, it looks like a sword made out of light and symbols and ... stuff” she said in wonder.
“Yes that’s the manifestation of the spell. Your mind is processing all the arcane concepts and flows into something you can envision. This is how magic works in our world” Weland said in his lecture voice.
“Our ... world?” The younger Van Ella asked.
“Look, I know this is all very new and scary to you, ” her older self started , “but please try not to ask questions. We really can’t tell you. You’ll find out soon enough. Let’s just say for now that there are many, many, many different worlds out there. Magic makes it possible for us to travel to those worlds. But that’s not something you’ll need to worry about just yet. For each world, the rules are slightly different. Just ...” her older self sighed and raised her hands in frustration ” ... keep your curiosity in check for now. It’s for your own good.”
“Anyway,” Weland began as he continued to press his thumb firmly on her forehead, “If you look at Van Ella, you will noticed that there are parts of her magical aura that seem to be not moving and are darker than the rest”
Van Ella looked carefully with her sight. Yes. There were bands of dark, motionless glass-like substance all around her older self. Almost like an amorphous cage. It moved with her, and seemed to be pulling the light from the rest of Van Ella’s aura.
“That structure is the block preventing us from getting out of here. It’s drawing Van Ella’s magic as fast as she can generate it. Eventually - ” He looked at his partner with deep concern in his eyes “it will kill her. You”.
Van Ella brought her hand to her mouth and gasped. “What do I do?”
“It’s easy! Younger me. Grab that manifestation sword and hit me as hard as you can!” she made a mock swinging motion with her hands.
“Hit you? I mean me? But what if I ... hurt you!”
“The sword is not really there in a physical sense, Van Ella” Weland deadpanned.
“It won’t hurt anything, but the magic binding. Look, I know personally how I like to sit down and examine every little aspect of this. And ask tons of questions. But right now I need you to please reach out to that sword and hit me as hard as you can! Time literally is running out! Once you break this binding, my magic will be freed, and I can bust us out of here! It’s going to happen pretty fast, so if I don’t get a chance to say this, younger me, thank you. You are saving our lives.” She shooed her younger self with her hands in impatience. “Do it!” she cried.
Van Ella yelped as she grasped the magic sword in her sight . The spell was making her hands feel like they were in pins and needles, and small jolts of electricity arced across her wrists and arms, almost painfully. She turned and twisted the sword around and raised it over her head.
“Ok, here goes!” she cried out as she slammed the sword down with all her might at the head of her older self. In her magic sight she witnessed the sword connect with the bands of darkness and shatter them. The sword itself unfolded and burst into a blinding array of rainbow colors, sounds and the smell of burning metal filled her lungs. The whole world went white.
Van Ella felt herself falling, and she cried out, but no sound happened. She thrashed in the darkness, but she felt only emptiness.
She felt her mind slipping into madness, when suddenly everything JOLTED to the left and she hit the ground - hard. A fresh burst of light and pain enveloped her, but as she passed out she heard in her mind’s eye ”Thank you Van Ella. It was good to see me as a little girl again. Tell your Weland hi for me" ... It was the voice of the older Van Ella - echoing and fading quickly.
For Van Ella, everything went dark, and she passed out.
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