Книги о Ралионе
  Энциклопедия Ралиона

The Guardian
8. A gift and a door

They stayed for several months in the wonderful forest where time didn't flow. The shadow that touched Nlaminer in that Realm flight was not leaving easily. He felt almost jealous observing Ezoxu and Rhissa talking merrily, but the whispering voice was melting away. He wandered about; he did not dare to hunt, nor was it necessary. His head was spinning with all he learnt here and he sat singing his songs or playing the flute... sometimes he did that far from the gray house. He felt the essence of this world: calmness and certainty.

One day they woke up simultaneously. Without a word, they took their belongings. Rain had poured through the night, quiet and steady, as everything here was. Rhissa took his hand and in the same instant they found themselves standing in the familiar well-like place, with thirty six mirrors glaring at them coldly. For some time they did not realize there was a subtle white glow around them. It seemed to be constant, as if it were a farewell gift from their host.

"I forgot to say farewell to him," Nlaminer muttered.

"No need," Rhissa echoed back. "We will never need to say farewell to him. We will meet from time to time."

Nlaminer went to the nearest wall and grasped the obsidian amulet hanging on his neck. His homeworld... he sighed but could not let these memories flow away. They moved before his eyes like distant fog-covered peaks of the mountains, always on the horizon, formless and unreachable. Rhissa's voice called him back. "Nlaminer ! It opens !" He opened his eyes. The mirror melted away; a wonderful land was before their eyes; different from the quiet Ezoxu land but nonetheless breathtaking. He was about to step over the boundary between the worlds when a sudden thought struck him deeply. "No."

He pulled Rhissa back. "We will not enter."

His eyes radiated such a strange light Rhissa did not venture to protest. After a while the entrance dimmed and disappeared; a mirror, still cold and impenetrable blocked their way.

"It's my homeworld," he whispered and sat on the floor; Rhissa sat beside him, speechless, holding his hand tightly. "If I pass, I bring him with me." Marrkes do not weep; but his sorrow was dark and painful. "He left a spy deep inside me, Rhissa. If I show him any weakness, he will strike. I shouldn't leave this place until I force him back." His words thundered with unexpected might and a globe above them flashed like a small sun. They ignored it and sat until the cold had left their hearts.

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-- mecenat --

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