The Visitor – Isekai One-Shot

Thesantei was already annoyed.

It only got worse when they went directly to talk to him.

“Captain,” the two border guards greeted him, knowing theirs dark-haired heads as they passed through the door.

“You back already? With people like you there would be no need to patrol the Burning River, the enemy can just stroll through the gate and enjoy drinks with the King.” He rapped his dark fingers over the thick wooden desk.

“It was necessary, lord.” Rasce, the younger and yet more accomplished of the two, pulled out of his backpack a few intriguing items. “We found someone in the forest. She looked not dissimilar from a slave girl from the southern merchant kingdoms, but she had… something weird on her.”

Thesantei put down the scrolls he had been forced to work through. Bureaucracy would be the end of their civilization, that was what he always said. Maybe, just maybe, this distraction could prove intriguing enough.

It was indeed a weird collection of small items: a piece of red cloth that looked polished and shone in the dim light of the late afternoon. A ring of exquisite manufacture, rimmed with what looked like gold. It was a tad too perfect to be hand-made, which gave him a worrying itch right at the base of his skull. And then, of all things, the smooth piece of metal and glass he flipped through his fingers.

The metal on the back was curved in a gentle rim, displaying a few small holes to the side, they as well made out of glass. Maybe they were decorations? But why put them all to the side, in such a disharmony arrangement?

On the front, the glass was so smooth he could see his own face: thin and hawkish nose, thin lips pulled in a frown, blue eyes and dark hair flowing down to his shoulders.

His finger brushed to the side of the glass and it brightened, showing a series of colors and lines and… a picture of some sort? A girl hugging two others. All of them showing the pale skin and fine features of the people from the merchant kingdoms, but there was something in their clothes, in their demeanor and smiles that looked profoundly wrong to him.

Maybe the Gods were already testing him.

It would the second time that day already.

But what kind of girl from the south wandered there, in their dominion, carrying artifacts that reminded him far too much of their own marvelous crafts of old? Thesantei closed his eyes for a moment. A few years before he had visited the ruins of the last Hearthwomb. They had been preserved for religious and historical purposes, but no doll would ever come out of its corridors. The mother-machine had rutted out the last three of their kind centuries before, and he had felt a great deal of sadness for all that was lost.

This slab of metal and glass reminded him a little too much of the cracked surface of the Hearthwomb.

“Where did you put her?”


These days, he did not visit the prisons too much.

Not much to see there.

There had been a time when they had been full. When the entire Citadel had been full. Now Thesantei walked through a wide corridor, mostly empty save for the two border guards that had found this girl, and the occasional soldier raking his crossbow over the bars.

“What does she speak?”

“No language we know of.” Rasce kneaded his brow. “We tried everything we could, but she has not understood one word. Or pretended not to.”

He clicked his tongue. Just what he needed.

They had chosen a quite large cell. These had been carved out of thinner corridors that proceeded side by side with the main one. This entire area might have been just a simple hall where his people used to convene, dinner and talk together, maybe even sing and dance.

Now that there was no more use for these, they had been converted for a far worse purpose.

The girl sat on her bed, pulling her legs to her chest.

Rasce’s description and most importantly the photo he had seen on the glass device did portray more or less the same girl, even though her hair look longer and she had deep bags beneath her eyes.

She was pale of skin, not alabaster like some of the people from the merchant kingdom, but a smooth peach color that nevertheless showed she did not have one drop of Anthilian blood in her. She carried her blond hair quite long, which spoke of noble uprising, together with how smooth her skin looked, and how white her teeth. She seemed to be in excellent conditions, save for the little bit of hassle and tussle the guards likely had to subject her to bring her to prison.

She was dressed in gaudy colors – blue shirt and pink skirt that did not reach her knees, together with a pair of white shoes made out of some spongy material. Her arms and legs were exposed to the elements, which did not make any sense given outside had been snowing for three days.

Perhaps she was a pleasure worker? She did seem to have the age for it – Thesantei was not partial to women of the south or the east, but he had to admit that her features might be pleasant enough.

Which brought him back to the present moment. He was here to ask some questions and that was it.

“Hu-uhm,” he cleared his voice. The girl turned to look at him, a flash of anger passed in her hazelnut eyes at the sight of the two border guards. “Do you understand my language?” He said pointing at his lips.

The girl frowned.

She shook her head.

What did that mean? No? Yes?

Most likely a negative answer, though.

He sighed. This would take longer than he had hoped…

He picked out of his pocket the piece of metal and glass, tapping on the front to make it flash again. As it turned on like a lamp, he showed it to the girl, pointing at her figure in the middle of the two.

She started and barked something he could not really understand. Her language sounded a bout of gurgling water.

“Bring me a seat,” he ordered the two, and they quickly pulled up a chair from the closest guard post. Thesantei sat, looking directly at the girl’s face.

Whatever she was, he was determined to find an answer before night-time.

“Alright. Let’s try to understand each other, now.” He pulled out a pen and writing rolls from his pack, tossing them to her through the bars. “Let’s see what you can do with those, girl.”

Author’s Notes: I am not exactly keen on writing Isekai or ‘displacement fiction’, but I have a story in mind I would really like to work on. At this point, I turned this little character study on its head and instead of being the transported character exploring their new surroundings, it’s the people in the secondary world reacting to her presence. I hope you liked it.


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