Torga and Naunet were just about to break through the atmosphere when Naunet glanced over his shoulder with an odd smile on his face.
"You're very durable, aren't you?" He calmly asked.
"Excellent!... Then this should be a good learning opportunity for you." He replied as they broke through the outer atmosphere and clean air flooded Torga's lungs.
"What wil-L!?" Torga screamed in surprise as gravity took hold and an overwhelming force sent Torga hurtling towards the ground.
"Don't forget to maintain the shell!!" Naunet yelled as he chased after the free-falling Torga.
Before Torga could even think to reply he was slammed into the unforgiving ground at high speed. His landing caused shockwaves to spread from the point of impact and a shallow indent to mar the solid stone.
Torga groaned in pain and tried to lift his head, but even that proved impossible as the sheer weight of his own body prevented him from moving.
"Wow... I'm impressed you managed to maintain your size throughout that fall." Naunet cheerfully said as he landed beside Torga's head.
"Wha-aat... Hap-ap-ppened??" Torga mumbled while struggling to keep his eyes open.
"Everything feeling incredibly heavy?"
Torga groaned in the affirmative.
"Well, you just experience the power of a god... Congratulations."
"Wha-aaa-aat? B-But I'm Su-upposed to b-e imm-une to ma-gic?"
Naunet sat on his tail before Torga's eyes and propped his head on one hand.
"That 'immunity' only works on magic. What you're feeling right now is a result of this planet's trait."
"Yep. The goddess that created this planet and sentenced me here made it so I'd never be able to move freely... Unfortunately for her, I was never one to live under the expectations of others."
"How do I move freely?"
At Torga's affirmative groan, Naunet laughed.
"Practice mostly, though figuring out the shell trick really helped."
"The magic shell I showed you. You know the one that allows you to shrink? The thicker you make the shell, the easier it is to move."
Torga closed his eyes and began piling layer upon layer of magic to his 'shell' until he could talk normally, but was still unable to move.
"Why didn't you warn me!?" He yelled.
"It was funnier this way." Naunet shrugged.
"Has anyone ever told you that you were a dick?"
The smile on Naunet's face dimmed a little.
"Not in a long time..."
Torga grumbled but didn't say anything else after seeing the look on his face.
"Can you move yet?" Naunet asked after a few minutes of watching Torga struggle to breathe.
"Hmm... Mind if I ask you some questions, then?"
Torga's narrowed his eyes at him.
"If you agree to answer my questions, then I'll answer yours."
Naunet thought it over for a moment, then shrugged.
"Sure, I'll agree to that."
"Then I'll go first," Torga said and before Naunet could protest he asked. "How old are you?"
Naunet sighed, "I don't know. The gods informed us that we'd get to leave this cluster for a one century vacation for every forty-thousand years we stood guard... and I've had ten of those vacations."
"So long story short, you're older than dirt." Torga mumbled as he did the math in his head.
"Most of it, yeah." He laughed.
"My turn. Are you a naturally born serpent or a reincarnation?"
"Reincarnation. I used to be human."
"Figures... No natural serpent is stupid enough to challenge Orochi."
"I have something I want to accomplish." Torga 'shrugged'.
"Why were you chosen to guard Orochi anyway?"
"Like most of the other wardens, I was chosen because of my title. As Naga king, I had certain... 'gifts' that made me an excellent guard. Now, if they'd only asked me before cursing me to an eternity of guarding a malicious serpent, I would have informed them exactly what I thought of their proposal and where they could shove it." He said with a twisted grin.
"Anyway," He shook his head. "What planet are you originally from?"
"Originally? As in, before I was reincarnated or after?"
"I'm from a planet called Earth. It's a-"
"Oh? Which one?"
Any thought of future questions was blown away by Naunet's words and Torga stared at him in stunned silence...
"What did you just say?"
"Which Earth are you from?" He repeated, slower this time.
Torga just stared at him...
"You... How... What do you mean 'Which Earth?', you know about Earth!?"
"Okay, that's two questions, so I'll be asking two questions in return. But yes, I do know about Earth. I know about all five of them, as a matter of fact."
"How!? How do you know about Earth!?" Torga lifted his head in excitement... And it was quickly slammed back down as gravity took hold again.
"That's three questions and... well... I've been there? Well, to one of them anyway."
"You're a reincarnation?" Torga asked in surprise.
"No?" Naunet replied in confusion. "Wait... You are aware that Earth exists on Yggdrasil, yes? Four of them are somewhere near the very top of the tree, while the last is somewhere in the center."
Torga's mind went blank and his eyes grew cloudy.
"Torga?" Naunet waved his hand in front of Torga's eyes and received no response.
"Hello?" He snapped his fingers, "Is anyone in there?" He knocked on Torga's head a few times.
After a few minutes of trying to get Torga's attention, Naunet shrugged then laid down and went to sleep...
"Oi! Hey Naunet, wake up!"
"Hnn?" He grumbled as he opened his eyes to find Torga staring down at him with a scary look in his eyes.
"You said Earth exists here, right?"
"Is it my Earth or just something using the same name?"
"Umm..." Naunet rubbed the sleep from his eyes and sat up.
"Mostly water with... Uh... A white moon and a yellow star?"
"What're the names of the surrounding planets!?" Torga grabbed Naunet's shoulders and shook him.
"I don't remember! I haven't been to that cluster since my fourth vacation!" Naunet pushed Torga's hands off and 'stood' up.
"What do you remember?"
Naunet sighed, "I remember there being eight or nine planets in the cluster I visited, not sure which. And that particular Earth was weird because it was solely dominated by large reptil-es!?"
Naunet yelled in surprise as Torga yanked him into the air and yelled, "Yes! I can actually go home!"
"Put-Me-Down!" Naunet said through gritted teeth as Torga violently shook him.
"Oh!" Torga released his grip and allowed him to fall to the ground. "Sorry, but I'm just so excited!"
"Yeah-Yeah, well, don't get too excited. It's highly possible that Earth isn't yours and even if it was it might no longer be there."
That took some of the wind out of Torga's sails, but he kept the smile on his face.
"Even so, that's more of a chance than I previously thought possible."
Naunet sighed, "Look, you can move now, right?"
"Then we've got work to do. Follow me."
"Stop trying to hit me, and hit me!" Naunet roared as he swiped his left hand through the air and knocked away a ball of red energy as if it were nothing more than a child's toy. The ball flew into the distance and collided with a mountain range a few miles away. The explosion said ball caused, reduced the mountain to slag and produced a shockwave that flattened trees for miles, but the only reaction Naunet showed Torga was a slight narrowing of his eyes and a slight shake of his left hand.
"I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times. Torga, your problem lies not with the power of your magic, but with its speed! Even the most powerful magic spell is useless if you can't hit what you're aiming for!" He yelled.
Torga narrowed his eyes in frustration and, after shaking the tension out of his arms, held them out wide and conjured two blood-red balls of energy.
"Fine! Then how about these!?" He yelled as he threw them as hard as he could.
The two balls orbited around each other as they raced towards a waiting Naunet. The sheer magical power behind them was causing the ground to erode wherever they passed and an ominous red light to brighten the currently dark sky...
"Still not enough." Naunet shook his head in disappointment and braced himself; he waited for the moment they were about to hit him and spun, his right arm guiding the balls as they passed him by, and re-directed them back at Torga... Or more specifically, at the ground beneath Torga's feet.
Torga's eyes widened in surprise even as his now much faster attacked reduced his world to nothing more than a red light and a mild heat.
After the explosion was over and Torga could see again, he calmly walked over to a disapproving Naunet.
"You're still holding yourself back." Naunet accused. "Even after all these years, you still refuse to use your magic to its fullest potential!" he growled in frustration as he turned and moved away.
"Believe me, it's not on purpose." Torga mumbled as he turned to see the massive five-hundred-foot wide crater his magic caused. He continued to watch it until it slowly melted away and the naturally green meadow returned to its previous appearance; devoid of any, and all blemishes... even life. The completely barren wasteland of beauty he'd known for the last quarter century filled Torga's eyes before he turned and followed after Naunet.
After catching up with the only soul he'd known for the last twenty-something years, Torga couldn't help but ask, "What do you think is causing my block?"
Naunet glanced at him and breathed a sigh, "I don't know. You should be much stronger than this..." At Torga's look, he snorted in amusement and continued. "Yes, I'm aware of just how powerful you are physically, but magically?" He shook his head, "You're barely as powerful as a newborn dragon."
"Oh no~, I'm only as powerful as a tier eight beast. Whatever shall I do?" Torga asked sarcastically.
Naunet slapped the back of his head, "Alright smartass, that's enough of that."
Torga smirked at him, then turned serious.
"Seriously though... What's wrong with me?"
"I honestly don't know. Physically you're fine- Hell, you're better than fine! Physically, you're one of the most powerful beings I've ever seen, and I'm including gods in that assessment!"
Torga waited a few seconds for him to continue, but when it didn't seem like he would...
"But magically, you ARE suffering from something. Something is eating away at your magic energy faster than you can draw it out, resulting in this little 'problem' you've got."
Naunet finished speaking just in time for Naunet's home to appear on the horizon; A tree of truly gargantuan proportions with silver colored leaves and black bark stood as a testament to Naunet's time here.
Planted by his wife when he was first crowned Naga King, the tree was meant to be a symbol of her promise to always remain by his side... But sickness and Orochi saw that that didn't last nearly long enough. Without the 'blessing' of the gods to always return to life unless killed by a contender for the crown, she was killed just ten years into his 'rule' by an overzealous serpent looking to make a name for himself... Naunet still hadn't told Torga what happened to that serpent, but rage in his eyes as he told this story led Torga to believe that he managed to escape from whatever fate Naunet had planned for him.
"Maybe I've just reached a plateau?" Torga suggested.
"While that's certainly possible, it's also rather unlikely."
"Regardless," Torga yawned. "I'm going to lay down for a while. We'll talk about this later, alright?"
Naunet waved him off as the two entered the tree through a large hole at the base and split up. While Naunet headed for the study to do some research into Torga's problem, Torga went to his room to sleep for the night...