Interesting Mortals and Interested Immortals3 min read
Idris and Adagio were huddled around a campfire. Or rather, Idris was huddling. Adagio was sitting in midair, his posture always immutable, his gaze unreadable, and overall projecting a feeling of extreme indifference. That didn’t bother Idris. He himself was a man of few words, and he appreciated the silence to yet again mull over what he would say when he met the Technologists.
“I still don’t understand why I couldn’t have just flown you over there,” Adagio broke the silence, which startled Idris. Adagio, he had found, was not one to make small talk. Even more to his surprise, Adagio shifted his posture slightly, just as any mortal would after being in a unchanging pose for such a long time, which marked a first since they landed.
“Because I am mortal, and I must eat, djinn,” He replied in his soft voice. “And I prefer to have my feet firmly planted on the ground.”
“Speaking of which, the amount of vegetation around this place is revolting,” Adagio complained. “Explain to me once more why it was necessary to land in a forest, of all places.”
Idris revised his impression of Adagio. Apparently he could be aggravating as well as indifferent.
“Your Gift isn’t working as well as you said it would,” Idris accused, “Here, the life energy counteracts the power of the Churn.” This was true. As powerful as the Gift of the djinn was, it had its limits. Idris had been in a state of constant pain ever since he left the Shimmer, and although he was not one to complain about pain, the djinn’s aggravating nature had annoyed him.
Adagio scowled. He himself thought that the man had none of the proper respect for an immortal that he should. But alas, an immortal must remain above these trivial matters, so he merely waved his wings and said, “Quite interesting. Hardly have I met a mortal that can perceive the flux of flora. I-” He was interrupted by a rustle from the bush to his right.
His hand quickly burst into flames. Idris, having also heard the sound, turned towards the bush the sound was coming from. However, he did not draw his spear.
“It is only a forest beast,” Idris said. “Nothing to be afraid of, and certainly nothing to attack.” True to his word, a river troll appeared, seemingly rummaging for food, although strangely, he was carrying an anchor. Adagio furrowed his eyebrows and frowned.
“Not just flora, then,” Adagio thought. Even Adagio himself had trouble distinguishing between the different kinds of fauna, but Idris, it seemed, found it ridiculously easy. Adagio had once wondered whether Idris was a warlock or wizard, as the humans called their magic wielders, but their first conversation had told him quite the opposite.
“I am not familiar with magic,” He had said. “Mine is a skill of nature.”
“If that were so, then all men would accomplish it.” Adagio had replied, rather bewildered.
Idris had baffled Adagio then, more than any mortal had ever before. He could instantaneously move, yet he was not, or so he said, a magic wielder. He seemed not much of a speaker, not a leader, yet had led his people in a long war against the Churn. He had inhaled Churn energy, and yet instead of succumbing like most mortals would, he had used the energy to defeat the guardians of the well and brought back the book, which was tucked tight within his satchel. Even now, Adagio was, for lack of a better word, impressed by his tenacity and perception.
Once every few eons, a mortal casted an interesting shadow. With the light of the campfire dying out, Idris was certainly casting an interesting, if not downright irregular shadow. For the first time, Adagio was interested… in a mere mortal.