I project myself onto the throne. Then as Mestopholees rushes at me with her claws, I poof myself away. This time at the ceiling, and quickly I drop back down. She flies up at me, and then I poof back to the ground. She dives, and then I poof outside of the throne room entirely.

I’m outside, and I see the vast city of South Spire in all its glory. I’m reappearing and disappearing too quickly for anyone to understand what is going on, so the many New Slayers here don’t have time to realize who I am and freak out about the return of Amaranth or whatnot. But Mestopholees gives chase, flying as fast as she can in a valiant attempt to capture me.

But I am escaping as best as I can.

The whole world passes me by as I teleport from place to place, projecting my ghostly body as far as it will possibly go. Mestopholees grows ever closer, but I keep up my best.

She’s coming for me with everything she’s got, but I won’t let her catch me, not this time!

With a burst of extra energy, I make my furthest projection yet. My body here in South Spire poofs away—

Then, poof again, and I’m standing at the base of the mountain into the side of which South Spire was carved. It looks magnificent and utterly unopposable from here... And then I realize where “here” is: A full mile away.

I walk around, take steps with my hard light body which has all the characteristics of a true physical form, and remark about this.

I am a mile away from this giant mountain, standing in the wasteland with no one around at all. I can feel the ground at my feet, and my nose detects the smell of dirt and sand and dust.

My senses are here. I bask in the beauty of this wonderful land known as Mystix, like I have never been able to do until just this moment. It feels like home.

“Spectacular,” I say to myself. “I’ve gone and done it, haven’t I?”

My astral projection has genuinely escaped South Spire all on its own. That’s the testament to my newfound powers, indeed.

In fact, Mestopholees is not close behind me. She is so far away now that I cannot even see a tiny blip in the distance. I see nothing, and if I believe correctly, it does not seem like she even knows I am here.

I could run away right now, and no one would ever be the wiser...

And yet, I still need to hear her out. One last time, because the fate of the world, or rather worlds, depends on me acting wisely.

So I unpoof myself—

Back to the throne room, where my ghostly visage comes back into view.

Mestopholees hovers over the floor, arms crossed, waiting for me.

“Took you long enough,” she says. “Guess you finally did it, huh?”

“I astrally projected to outside the mountain, about a mile away. Even I was shocked by it.”

“You really got away from me, and you even held your own in the opening spar. I’m impressed. You’ve never improved so quickly before.”

“I’m changing as a person,” I say. “I’m progressing.”

“Well, your little progression fantasy’s about to pay off, because the New Slayers and Anti-Mages are about to fight a really big battle not too far from here.”

“Wait, they are? Why? How? Are the New Slayers losing?”

“Hardly. The Anti-Mages think that a surprise attack on the South Spire capital will cripple us and take us down completely,” she says. “Obviously, they won’t. It’s a last-ditch gambit to make some kind of strike against us, because they know we’re winning.”

“Oh, Rare and their gambits.”

“So, it’s finally time to make your battlefield debut, I think. Help lead the charge and motivate the New Slayers to destroy our enemies! Or whatever.”

“Um, no?”

“Um, yes?”

“Joe Biden is getting closer and closer to discovering how to travel to Mystix,” I say. “We cannot allow this petty war to continue in such an unbridled manner.”

Mestopholees rolls her eyes and finally lets her feet touch the floor. “Not this again. You and your Joes, and your world crossings, and whatnot. None of it matters! Do you get it? If we win this battle, then the war’s probably over.”

“Over, but with half the world devastated,” I correct. “We must not fight against Rare. We must team up so we can defeat the United States together. That is the only way to ensure that Mystix survives.”

“Ha, that’s rich.”

“But I—”

Mestopholees laughs loudly and sarcastically until I shut up completely.

“Have a rest. Go back to Earth for a bit, plan out a grand speech, and then we’ll project you out to the battlefield tomorrow. Alright?”


Mestopholees leaves, but I do not wake myself up. It isn’t time.

If Mestopholees won’t assist me in bringing the New Slayers and Anti-Mages together, then I will just have to go to the person next best equipped to do it: My sibling.

I have the power, after all.

So, with a great deal of mental exertion, I summon an astral projection and launch it as far as it will go. Not a mile this time, not two. Maybe five.

All I know is that I see a grand army in the distance, marching directly towards me as a trumpeter plays.

My form is not entirely sufficient for my senses, now. Everything feels so stretched out and diluted, so thin that it almost seems like I will snap back violently to the throne room at any minute.

But I keep my energy strong and allow this feeling to pass.

Especially when some scouts on horses come riding up to me after only a few seconds.

“I’ve come for Rare,” I say. “Send for them and tell them it’s their brother. I have a proposal.”


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About the author

B. A. Baker (Thedude3445)

Bio: I like to watch movies.

Avatar art by Bryan Lee O'Malley.

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