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The Guardian
8. A gift and a door

"The only thing that worries me is the time," Nlaminer sat as they made a raft. "We have walked this eternal forest for two weeks; now we will try to cross the sea, and what then ?"

"Are you disturbed by something ?" Rhissa asked in reply, "Your words are right if there is a hurry to do something. I feel no changes in the surrounding world. I feel no changes in the Realm, either. What's the reason to hurry ?"

"I'm disturbed by the calmness of this place," Nlaminer showed all around him, "Too peaceful, too quiet." He stopped.

Rhissa had a longer look at him. "You expect a trap, maybe ?"

"Why not ?"

"Well, I've told you. I do not sense His presence in the Realm."

Nlaminer thought. "Is the Realm always the same ?"

"What do you mean ?"

"Well, this is another world. I was taught there are millions of worlds, all scattered around in the Universe. Is the Realm also...

present around all the Universe ?"

Rhissa thought for several seconds. "I think, yes. Because the Realm isn't a united entity. You have seen several pictures of it; it comprises the clerical plane of power of all the realities."

"How do you know ?"

The small reptile possessed truly infinite patience. "I know it.

All my experience in all my previous lives tell me that."

"And you remember all your past lives ?!"

"No, I don't."

Nlaminer couldn't understand whether Rhissa was joking or not.

She looked at his frowning face and added, "In the Realm I meet - how should I say ? - shadows of my previous avataras. The imprints of their thoughts. Their memories. As you can tell many things by smell, I can tell the owner of several things within the Realm."

"I wish I could visit this Realm," Nlaminer sighed, "I am normally deaf and blind to it."

"No, you are not," Rhissa came closely to him. "If you were, we would never meet. Besides, the rite couldn't leave you unchanged. All you need is training. Before you ask that of me, tell me, my friend, can you take the responsibilities of the Realm traveler ?"

Nlaminer thought for a reason to give an affirmative reply but found none.

"This is why you feel deaf to it. You understand ? You have contact with two magic sources at once. Every one of them hinders the other not to let you have the fullest potential. This is your gift, not your fault. But this can become a curse, too."

"What should I do then ?" Nlaminer had a completely lost look.

Rhissa answered simply, "Wait. The sources are quarreling with each other because you are moving between them. Stop that. Do as you feel, do not think of your inabilities. There are none. Every being creates its limits so that it could consider itself limited. Humans, for example. They have no inner power strong enough. They are, therefore, a most violent and impulsive race. They consider themselves deprived so they are blaming all around in that. Instead, they need only to train, and any power can be theirs."

"Do they not know this ?"

"Several do. Humans can be brilliant mages, best friends, if they so choose. I think this is an ideal. We Haans have the strongest contact with the Realm, are one of few races which have to look after it. Believe me, this is dangerous."

The raft was made. It had no sails; they constructed simple oars, for the sea was shallow, not more than breast-deep for Nlaminer.

They collected a week store of the food and left for the mountainous island far away. This time Nlaminer was not worried.

Rhissa's words calmed disturbance within him that has started to break out. He sat and sang, or meditated at times when they did not speak. The raft was carried by lazy streams to and fro, but they were inevitably approaching the great mountain.

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-- mecenat --

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