In a flash, Ibai was in an empty corridor. The cool sandstone beneath his toes reminded him that he’d left without putting shoes on. It was too late now, he supposed, but he regretted not wearing socks at least. Now he couldn’t even pretend to be ice skating.
He knew his father and Rholtam would be hot on his heels, so he jumped again, this time two floors down, then once more into another hallway a couple rooms over.
“Oh, it’s you!” came a sudden voice. “Careful where you pop in, man!”
Ibai looked around, but no one was there. Nor should there have been. He was certain that he hadn’t seen any souls in this hallway when he teleported here.
“Running away, huh? Want some help?”
“Who’s talking?” said Ibai. “Where are you?”
And abruptly, a ripple appeared in mid-air, distorting an area of Ibai’s vision for a moment before a young man’s face revealed itself. Then the neck, shoulders, and everything else followed. The clothes were clearly foreign--Steccati in origin, if Ibai wasn’t mistaken. That country’s attire was popular in movies, which was where this guy looked like he belonged. Ibai liked the sparkling jacket in particular.
“Sorry for the confusion,” the guy said. “We’re supposed to keep our presence hidden, but it’s okay now, because someone else already screwed up. I won’t get in trouble.”
Ibai returned a big smile. “My name is Ibai. What’s yours?”
“Reever,” he said, smiling similarly.
And Ibai’s gaze flickered as he realized. This man. Something about him. Already, Ibai was almost entirely certain that this person was an aberration. “You’re like me,” he said curiously.
“You can tell,” said Reever. “Well, of course you can. You must be a monster by now, huh? I’ve never met one of us who was as old as you.”