The world was white and grey.
Spinning around in shock he could see the “sky” had become overcast- except it wasn’t clouds covering the sky, but swirling gray and white chalk, like a child’s drawing.
But he was seeing it through bars.
“What the-” He lunged for the cage, grabbing the bars and shaking them in some instinctive attempt to investigate. He’d literally just come through this way! Where was the door? He looked back and forth- but the cage wall seemed nearly endless, fading away into foggy white distance. He stepped back, something in him flaring in panic. Then he stepped on something, and he whirled around.
Broken eggshells, with tiny beaks and feet. The one that he had unwittingly kicked opened up it’s beak for an angry screech, biting at his shoe, right through the fabric.
He shouted- more from fear than pain as he kicked it back. The were something inherently unnerving about these… things. Especially as they popped up out of the abstract chips, chirping and threatening him with their teeth.
‘Run.’ His mind warned. ‘Don’t let them get you!’
He ran. He bolted with as much vigor as he could muster, and tore through abstract chips. The broken eggshells kept creeping up. He leaped and jumped and weaved around them, trying to stay one step ahead.
And then a whole egg came up ahead, shadowing him as it towered over. It was cracked, larger chips missing along the cracks and showing a swirl of color undulating and spinning within. A few more chips fell out. As they hit the ground, they instantly grew beaks and feet, joining the fray, and coming to join the ones catching up behind him in a trapping ring.
He crouched down, hands coming up in fists as he surveyed his surroundings. Ok. Fine. If he had to fight, then he’d fight.
Well fight or flight was clearly kicking in. Kiryubei watched this fire burn as it ran, the ghost like incubator following up above. Ah, but the witch was looming ahead, not quite formed but nearly so. She was coming. And what was he going to do? Give up, now that there was nowhere to run?
Ah. No. He was going to fight.
This was wonderful.
The cat creature landed softly on the ground, some ways away, took a steady breath, trying to decide what the best approach was. He could approach with his ears flicked back in a way humans associated animals that were scared or nervous….no, perhaps not. This human, he did not watch him long enough to sense if he was empathetic towards cute animals such as the form he was currently taking. Perhaps being direct was best. This boy was a fighter after all, so he started towards the potential magical boy. Kiryubei weaved through the beaked monstrosities that this witch had created, ducking and dodging to avoid injury as best he could.
Once he came close enough, he focused on the boy.
“Can you fight?” a voice sang through the air, “Will you fight? How much do you want to survive?”