He didn't bring much. Just... a pair of suede shorts with a leather satchel around them, some sandals and his Domain Bag strapped around the band of the satchel. It didn't matter; it was all he needed. The man, waiting for Zarik to ready himself for their venture onto the Island, grew increasingly giddy as he waited. His excitement was clear in his movements, as each step carried a bump within it, his eyes lit with the glimmer of wonder. When Zarik finally informed him that he was prepared for their journey, the mage smiled knowingly at him, portraying all of his emotions and none of them. He closed his eyes, seated in the center of the upper common room, standing tall beneath the chandelier as his gaze jumped forward and around. First, above the city of Quacia. Then, across the ocean, and then to the island's shores. Deeper, and deeper, and deeper... into the forest, where he saw a little boy and girl playing within the woods, their hands clutching the bark as they attempted to climb the tree.
10th of Ashan, Arc 719, Afternoon
10th of Ashan, Arc 719, Afternoon
And then... his vision jumped deeper again, to a cabin far remote. He'd spoken with the man who owned it, a Quacian businessman, some trials ago in the corridors of Fortress. And of course, nels could buy anything... even memories that would never be forgotten.
As his gaze focused on the cabin, made of real wood, the man smiled where he stood... even as his vision lingered tens of miles from where they were. For him, it was a simple enough journey, and without the mage even appearing to move a portal appeared behind him. It would be the first time Zarik saw one of his portals at a decent width, though it was far from the largest he could make them. The appearance of the doorway was equivalent to that of his eyes: a watery vortex, raging with the wrath of the sea, threatening to swallow them both within. The other half would open by the cabin, and when it did, Alistair's eyes would open.
He took Zarik's hand, offering him one of his many tender gazes, as Kleine curiously peaked out of his room through a crevice of the door. He wondered what had befallen the master of the state, who had been gone from Asher's side far more often in the last three trials.
But Kleine, and his worries, subsided as they stepped through the door and - for a time - left all that was Quacia behind. The first moment through, to him, was almost overbearing... the sensation that gripped his chest. Birds were chirping above them. The sunlight shone through the trees, and their leaves fluttered softly with the wind. He could feel the soil beneath the soles of his sandals, and the timid breeze that shifted through the forest. There were no stone walls; Fortress did not overlook them. The grounds were not paved by filth or blood.
Alistair... almost began to cry. His eyes were glossed in a sheen of tears, though not for long as he wiped them away in the quick rub of his elbow. It just... felt so nice to see nature again. To stand beneath the foliage above, without fear that it would reach down and take his life. It reminded him of how much he missed home. Had Cassander not stripped his life away, he never would have left. The mage had been scraping and clawing his way through the mud, surrounded by danger and gloom, and this was a reminder of what he was fighting for; the freedom to explore the wide open, the forests and the fields. To watch children play in the forests, to smell the Autumn. To taste fruit on his palate, and to breathe a true breath of fresh spring air.
He had Zarik, a person to call to his side. And soon, he would have a place to return home to. So soon - he could feel it calling to him.
The magister smiled brightly, as he spread his arms and raised them, gesturing to the nature that surrounded each man. His signet ring glimmered in the reflecting light of the sun as it breached the leaves. He felt... an incredible warmth.
"Zarik, can you believe it...?" he asked. "I'd almost forgotten what it looked like - a forest not overrun by Creep. A place where nature isn't a worry. It's like seeing it for the first time--you know? Life, again." No... he corrected himself, though only internally. It wasn't like seeing it for the first time, but living it through memory. Like watching himself, younger and more hopeful, again frolicking through those green fields he'd peered through.