By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
Only the box is a world of its own.
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Nothing. There was nothingness just as there always was and just as there had been for as long as he could remember. Wen Ning could not see the way that the world around him changed in the same way that he could not feel the thickness of the two black nails that had long ago been pierced and sunken into the back of his neck, bloody business that had long since baked into a disgusting black goop where the two wounds were, hidden beneath the thickness of ratty and unkempt black hair.
In some ways, he could think, but there had been no point for a long time and how long didn't matter, whether he knew the answer or not. How long didn't matter because hope had long since been lost. Hope had been lost since the day that he had watched his sister die, since the day he had seen the very last of his people.
He could not feel the tendrils which had taken him away and even if he had, perhaps he would have assumed they were an addition to the deep black chains that wrapped around his throat, around his chest and his torso, circling loosely around his arms, not nearly tight enough to bind them. A creature with the freedom of movement, despite the chains, and yet he stood still as could be. Wide eyes, pupils and irises alike large as could be and black as the dead, stared into eyes of crimson belonging to a head of red hair he could not see or hear. He simply stood as though waiting and waiting and waiting as though for orders unspoken.
A man was trapped, and G'raha could not just stand by and do nothing. Something utterly unnatural about the way those chains seemed to coil around him, or the empty darkness of the man's eyes. Far from what he had expected to find when he had told Asra he was going for an afternoon walk, but he did not let the surprise give him pause.
G'raha peered into that emotionless face, and part of him wondered if anybody was even present in there. He'd tried to speak to the man, had waved a hand before that unresponsive face, but there was no change. Not so much as a flicker of awareness. Even the stranger's chest was utterly still, no subtle intake of breath and some part of G'raha wondered if there was any life left in him.
But still, he closed his eyes and gathered in a slow breath, casting his senses out to search for the traces of aetherical energies around him -- signs of a woven spell. What he found was consigned to stillness -- barely even the slightest of natural ebb and flows that every living creature's personal aether underwent. And yet there was...a focal point. Something stifling the flow of aether. The mage's brow furrowed as his eyes re-opened, looking upon the figure before him with a newfound level of awareness.
Perhaps... He circled around the figure and found a mess of congealed gore upon the back of his neck, beneath the tangle of hair. And protruding from the bloody mess were two large iron nails.
G'raha hesitated a moment, fingers curling firmly around his staff. The focal point of a seal of some sort, it seemed. Though the question remained -- was the seal meant only to imprison, or also to shackle a danger lest it be set loose upon the world? But G'raha saw those heavy chains, the brutality of the seal itself, and the alarmingly familiar nature of the spell itself.
He had come from a world, after all, whose aether had grown stagnant, after all.
This was no way to live, if what this poor fellow suffered from could truly be called living.
G'raha reached out, and with the faintest of grimaces, pulled each nail out in turn.
In his mind, there was no end to his begging, to his wishes to see the light of the world once more, however dark a creature he may have become. In his mind, he had only one wish and he supposed as time passed and passed, his silent pleas, pleas which would never reach the ears of another, grew simultaneously less hopeful and more desperate.
What right did a dead man have to return to the world?
And yet, in just a single moment, everything changed. He didn't feel it at first, but when the last nail was removed from the back of his neck, the dimness of the world in front of him shifted. Brightened. For the first time in as long as he could seem to remember in that particular moment, Wen Ning breathed, not out of necessity but desperation. Desperation to feel as though he weren't drowning within himself. He did not move from where he stood, the blacks of his eyes staring straight ahead, but there was presence in them now. Presence and fear and confusion and--
Somebody stepped around in front of him. A man with hair of red and strange ears that Wen Ning had yet to truly take in. He simply saw his freedom in this man and with a quiver of his lower lip, the fierce corpse suddenly dropped to his knees, wobbling part of the way as though he might fall over. His head dipped respectfully toward the man.