The Portal

Vaildor Lightmist awoke, startled by a loud noise.  He saw the cause of the noise immediately upon sitting up in bed.  He drew his knees up to his chest, and huddled close to the wall next to his bed.  “What are you doing here?” He wouldn’t have spoken if the other person hadn’t already looked his way.

Sanimir finished casting a spell before answering, “I’ve come to say goodbye.”

Vaildor frowned.  He didn’t see any visible effect of the spell, and coming to say goodbye now was a bit tardy in Vaildor’s opinion.  That man who had been raising him until just a few months ago had odd timing sometimes.  The portal flickered behind the elf he had once called his father.  Vaildor knew he had come from another reality, and probably another time.  “You should have said goodbye when you just left me here.  I had no idea what was going on.  You could have told me the plan.”

“I’m sorry about that.  There wasn’t enough time.  I meant to, and I was struggling with how.  I didn’t get that part figured out before they came again.”

“You’re evil.  Hethurin says the bronze dragons are friendly and you kill them.”

“They would have taken me from you if I didn’t.”

“But you kidnapped me!  I wasn’t supposed to be with you.”

“Would you have preferred to die?  That’s what you were doing when I took you.  I saved your life, Vaildor.”

“You also lied to me and told me you were my father, and you would never talk about my mother, but the truth is you probably don’t even like girls.”

Sanimir paused thoughtfully, “I suppose that might be true.  There was never time to find out.”

Vaildor frowned, still huddled in a ball on his bed.  He noticed portal that had been behind Sanimir had faded away.  “You’re not going to kidnap me again, are you?”

“No.  I’m not here to take you again.  I’m here to say goodbye.  Over the past few months, I’ve been viewing multiple outcomes to the moments that are about to happen.  There is little chance I will survive the fight to come, and even less of a chance that I’ll be able to leave freely.  In the rare chance that I do escape them, you are always with me, but you choose to be.  I do not force you.  When it is time for me to go, I’ll leave the portal open.  You are welcome to follow, if you choose.”

“ I want to stay here.”

Sanimir nodded, “I understand.  They’ve accepted you.  They’re your real family.  I am happy that things have worked out well for you.  I’m sorry I wasn’t able to give you all that they can.”

“Why did you kidnap me if you knew I’d be better off here?”

“I don’t have to remind you again that I saved your life, right?” Sanimir rose a brow as Vaildor shook his head, “Good.  I saved you because I missed my family.  In the reality where I’m from, very few elves survived the invasion of the Scourge.  I’m sure your sister has made you read the history of what happened here, but now imagine it was ten times worse.  My world was overrun with the Scourge.  I had stayed at the school I was attending at the time, instead of going home to them.  I was only saved by one of the teacher’s portals.  There were no survivors in the city.  My father, my mother, all of my sisters are gone.  There are only a handful of elves left in my time.  That’s what fueled my studies in chronomancy.  Then I received assistance from the infinite flight.  I’ve repaid them for teaching me by doing tasks for them over the years.  They occasionally needed a non-draconic agent to assist them.  Unfortunately, their aid didn’t help me.  I’ve tried to go back, to change the way things happened, but the timeline has been blocked for me, probably by the Bronze Flight.  That’s when I opted to meet you.” He paused as though his thoughts were interrupted, then said, “Hethurin is here.  He’ll be through the ward soon.  I need to go.  The portal will be open for a while though.  Goodbye, Vaildor.”  He cast a spell opening a new portal in the center of the room.

Vaildor frowned as he watched the mage leave through the portal.  Seconds later, the door to his room burst open.

“He’s still here!” Hethurin said as others came into the room.  Confessor Morthorn immediately went to Vaildor as the rest stood and looked at the portal.

“Vaildor, are you okay?”

He nodded as he watched the others quietly whispering near the portal.  Hethurin cast a spell as he neared the it.  He and Terellion disappeared. Then Desdeyliri cast the same spell, also nearing the portal.  She and Renner disappeared.  Vaildor’s eyes watered.  They were going to kill the man who had raised him.  He felt the Confessor’s arms go around him as he started crying.

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