This is actually two chapters in one. The original chapter was really short.
Another century come and gone. But this century held the answers he seeked.
His math had been wrong. The timeline he needed was far in the past now, but he couldn’t jump through time here. The laws of this universe forbade it.
This only left him with the question of how to jump between planes.Daniel thought back over nine centuries to his arrival. He had asked the universe to take him to his love, but it brought him here instead…
And Ryan had been here, for a brief moment in time. Or, well, out of time. But now Daniel needed out of this place. The fox was lost in time. He would not make a good jumping point. But if the dragon could fuse a portal with temporal energy…
That was advanced. He needed to start somewhere, and jumping through time would not help right now.
Perhaps finding home could be simple?
Fixing an image of his home in England in his mind, Daniel said, “Oena.”
A swirling vortex of energy formed in front of him, and he grinned. It really had been that easy. He didn’t need to complicate things with numerology or things of that nature.
Smiling with confidence, the dragon stepped through the portal, and found himself falling through a blue sky. So he needed to work on his landings. That could wait.
The dragon spread his wings with a joyous cry, catching himself on the wind. He was free.
He was free at last. Free from the prison that had bound him, free from all the people asking him for divine favors. He wasn’t a god for fucks sake.
The black dragon flew through the sky, wrinkling his nose. This wasn’t home. It was dirty… wrong. He couldn’t put his finger on what exactly was wrong.
Daniel descended below the clouds, spiralling lazily toward a mountain. This place… This mountain… It was familiar. But different.
As he landed, his memory brought up a mountain, this mountain. But there was a shrine, and a kitsune standing sadly in front of it.
“Hana…?” the dragon whispered, reaching toward her.
And as his hand brushed her face, yearning for the feel of her fur on his scales, she was gone. But he knew, this was that place.
A gasp startled him, and the dragon turned. A person was prostrating themself before him, and the dragon blinked. He looked like an elf, but the ears were wrong, and Daniel could sense the life force within the being. It burned bright, but short. His mind was wide open to be read, unlike an elf, who often kept their thoughts locked tighter than their arse.
“Please sir, have mercy on me,” the being trembled.
Daniel sighed in frustration. Strange being or not, he still saw Daniel as some kind of deity. Still, maybe he had some information. The man was speaking Japanese, and Daniel knew those lands decently. Maybe he could find his way home from here.
“Where am I?” he asked the man in Japanese.
All he got was a blank stare.
“Ugh… This isn’t Kyoto...When did I drop in here?”
There was a time barrier in play. The Japanese Daniel spoke was outdated, and he was lucky to have understood the man at all.
He tried again in English.
“Where am I?”
He understood modern English. That gave Daniel a date, give or take a century.
“There was a shrine here. What happened to it?”
“T- there has never been a shrine on this mountain.”
“You can stand and look at me while you talk to me,” Daniel sighed. “What do you mean there’s no shrine? I used to live here.”
“No one lives here. It’s haunted.”
This wasn’t helping. Daniel stepped close to the person, and placed his hands on the being’s temple. Information poured through the link, and Daniel groaned. This wasn’t home. It was a parallel universe populated by these creatures called humans. The history was the same, just played out with a different cast.
“Nelmara eim,” Daniel muttered, and the human’s eyes closed, as he was forced to sleep.
The dragon took to the skies once more, his heart heavy. He needed to learn how to hop planes correctly. But this plane held little magic. He doubted he would find help here.
He flew for hours, travelling west until he reached the edge of China. Here he would spend the night.
The dragon entered a clothing store, casting a fog in the minds of all around him. They wouldn’t know he was there until he allowed it.
Finding a mirror, Daniel stared at his reflection, and focused on transmuting himself. His scales receded into his body. They were there, and would still protect him, but now they weren’t visible.
His skin lightened, paling until he was satisfied he looked like what the people around him considered English. His snout shortened painfully, melting into his face and becoming a narrow face with an aquiline nose. His eyes were tricky, clearing and becoming a crystal blue in hue.
The dragon’s wings forced their way into his back, and his tail shortened until it vanished completely. He kept his hair long and blue, but found a band to tie it into a ponytail.
The man in the mirror was a total stranger to him. Daniel turned away as nausea overtook him. He fought it back, and let the fog clear from the people in the store.
His shirt was torn from his wings, so he bought a new shirt, conjuring money to pay. He asked where he could find a hotel, and followed the cashier’s directions, coming across a small hotel.
Daniel paid in cash, and no questions were asked. In his room, he created an ID with his new face on it, and a wallet that he likely wouldn’t use the entire time he was here.
Laying in his bed, the dragon reached out, and pulled an orange shirt out of the pocket dimension he kept it in. Hugging it close, Daniel rolled over, and tried to get some sleep.