Chapter 12: Sahar’s legacy
4 0 0
Reading Options
Font Size
A- 15px A+
Table of Contents
Loading... please wait.

In our universe, mastery of the rûh separates individuals into different ranks: Awakened, Adept, Elite, Master and Legend. This system not only illustrates the power and skill of each user, but also highlights an important distinction: having just been promoted to one rank, you don't have the same amount of energy as someone ready to take the next step.

As I'd just acquired my powers, my rank was 'Awakened'. Through multiple battles or rigorous training, it is possible for a ruh user to rise in level and then in rank.

Perched on the edge of an Aether lake, where the water resembled liquid crystals under the nascent sky, I honed my mastery of Blink. The technique, a feat of teleportation made possible by my Essence-type rûh, required intense concentration. With each leap through space, guided by my vision, the landscape of mystical white sand and crystalline reflections would briefly distort, before reconstituting itself around my new position.

Jalik, the ruler of the djinn and my mentor in this quest for power, watched silently. His stature, a fusion of quiet strength and authority, contrasted with the palpable energy of my efforts. The air seemed to vibrate with each use of my rûh, testifying to the power and limits of this ability.

"Zayn," Jalik intervened, his voice carrying a mixture of respect and warning, "your rûh is a precious but limited resource. Each Blink consumes a share of that energy. Abuse this technique and you'll find yourself drained, unable to teleport until the day's cycle ends and your rûh regenerates."

These words resonated with a truth that I was beginning to understand intimately. Each use of the Blink was not only an act of freedom but also a calculation, a balance between the desire to act and the need to preserve my rûh for crucial moments.

It was then that the ground beneath our feet shuddered, announcing the arrival of a brown earth-skinned djinn. Appearing with the urgency that only news of the utmost importance can confer, he addressed Jalik directly, his voice charged with palpable tension. "I apologise, Your Majesty, but I'm here on an urgent matter. Poachers have invaded the desert, targeting the fennecs you ordered us to guard."

The djinn's revelation had planted a seed of urgency in the air, a palpable tension that left no room for hesitation. "Excuse me?! Please, Jalik, let me go there. I have to help Sahar's family!" My words burst forth with the impetuosity of a river in flood, carried by the urgency of the situation and the determination to protect those who were now dear to me.

Jalik, his face sculpted by reflection, took a moment before replying. His gaze, crossing the space between us, seemed to weigh up the consequences of each possible option. "The situation is indeed urgent," he began at last, his voice as firm as the ground beneath our feet. "Here's what I propose, Zayn. You're going to go there alone, and your mission will be to rescue the trapped animals."

Fear, a snake slithering in my stomach, made me protest. "But I don't know how to fight, I can't go alone!" The idea of coming face to face with poachers, of having to act without the direct support of Jalik or his subjects, was an abyss towards which I felt irresistibly drawn and yet terrified at the thought of plunging in.

Jalik, grasping the essence of my fears, replied with a reassuring assurance. "You are free to refuse, but know that by teleporting, you will be the first to get there. If I send my subjects, they'll take a while to get there, and the poachers will have time to clear off."

Faced with this reality, the hesitation evaporated, replaced by a crystalline resolution. The urgency of the mission, the need to act quickly to protect the innocent, all transcended my fears. "Very well," I said, my voice taking on a new firmness, "help me get there.

Jalik nodded, turning to his subject with a clear directive. "Go and take the boy with you. Make sure you explain to him on the way how he's going to do it."

"Aye, aye," replied the Jann, his voice an echo of the commitment we were all making in this room.

In the djinn's firm embrace, the world around me faded into a swirl of colour, our speed defying all earthly logic. As we crossed the space between the Aether and the visible, his explanation echoed in my mind, illuminating the link woven between these parallel worlds, a passage I could cross without constraint thanks to my unique gift of teleportation.

When I arrived at the scene, the activation of my mirror eyes immediately revealed the gravity of the situation: two men, rifles slung over their shoulders, stalking desperate fennecs trying to escape a cruel fate. The urgency of their plight left no time for hesitation; my heart beat in unison with the precipitous rhythm of their flight.

Behind the hunters, metal cages creaked in the arid desert wind, a prison for the captive creatures.


Without question, I projected myself into the visible world, teleporting with the precision of an arrow. My intervention, a flash of movement in their periphery, deflected the hunter's weapon at the crucial moment, diverting the bullet's trajectory away from its innocent victims. The act, carried out under a veil of instinct, left the attackers stunned, their confusion palpable in the tension-filled air.

The confrontation took shape on a desolate battlefield, where behind the hunters, metal cages creaked in the arid desert wind, a prison for the captive creatures. Among them were hyenas and fennecs, their eyes shining with a gleam of hope and terror, silent witnesses to our imminent confrontation.

The hunters adjusted their positions and took aim at me with cold determination. Their weapons, extensions of their will to dominate, were ready to spit death. "Don't blame us, kid," one of them shouted, his voice as dry as the sand beneath our feet.

But the air around me was already quivering with anticipated energy. With a momentum that defied the very nature of the physical world, I used "Blink". The desert bent to my will, each leap propelling me out of reach, a dance between balls, a whisper in the wind. "Shit, it's a Soulshapper!" cried one, recognising me as a rûh user.

My heart was pounding, but the fear had turned to iron resolve. With no offensive capability, I was reduced to improvising with the environment itself. The stones scattered at my feet became my improvised projectiles, my nimble hands catapulting them towards the cages. With a precision born of desperation, I used my Blink to sneak up behind the enemies, hitting the padlocks on the cages with desperate force.

The metal gave way under the unexpected assault, releasing a torrent of natural fury. Two hyenas, muscles taut beneath their coats, leapt from their confines with ravenous rage, hurling themselves at the hunters. The desert, which had been silent for a moment, now resounded with the cries of terror and fury of the freed beasts.

Standing there, breathless, I watched the scene unfold with fascinated horror. The realisation of what I had unleashed weighed heavily on me, an indelible mark on my soul. The fennecs, previously trembling with fear, now looked at me with a new gleam in their eyes, a mixture of gratitude and understanding.

But the danger was not over. Survival dictated that we flee before the hyenas, their insatiable hunger temporarily appeased, turned their attention to new prey. Gathering the fennecs, I held them close to me, their fragile warmth a reminder of the life I had sworn to protect.

Each Blink brought me closer to safety, but eroded my reserve of rûh, so I stopped before I fell from exhaustion. As night enveloped the desert, the cold began to set in, replacing the oppressive heat of the day. I lay down on the sand, seeking a moment's respite from the day's hustle and bustle. Beside me, the dark reality materialised: the body of the mother fennec, her blood mingling with the sand, carried by the night wind in a silent ballet. Above us, an inky sky dotted with bright stars contrasted sharply with the scene of loss below.

The little fennec, now alone, stared at his mother's body with palpable sadness. Her unique appearance, even under the faint glow of the stars, signalled that she was no ordinary fennec. I approached, conscious of the isolation that enveloped us both.

It was in this context that I decided to reveal my true appearance to the little being beside me. Deactivating my mirror eyes, I exposed my real eyes to Sahra, letting the starlight reflect in my gaze. "You find yourself alone in this vastness," I said softly, my gaze losing itself in the starry expanse above us. "But if you wish, I can become your new family. Together, we will no longer be alone."

It was then that I gave her a name, an impulsive but meaningful act. "Sahra, will you come with me?" The name chosen as a tribute to her father.

At that moment, I saw in the little fennec's eyes a gleam of recognition, not of fear or apprehension, but as if she perceived something reassuring, perhaps even captivating in my presence. It wasn't just an observation; it was a connection, a silent recognition of the serenity my appearance could inspire.

As soon as the words were spoken, an inexplicable sensation crossed my mind, as if a long-closed door had just opened. "The voice, clear and full of curiosity, didn't come from outside but echoed directly in my head. Sahra was staring at me, her eyes shining with an intelligence and emotion that defied the very nature of her being.

I was stunned. I could never have imagined such communication with a fennec. "Can you... talk to me?"

"Yes, Dad," his voice in my head was soft, reassuring. "You named me so I'm going to call you Dad!"

In that magical moment, under the benevolent gaze of the stars, a new bond was sealed. Sahra, the little fennec with the expressive eyes, had become my travelling companion, my family.

I took her in my arms, her fragile warmth against me offering unexpected comfort in the cold of the desert. "Let's go, Sahra. Wherever this road takes us, we'll follow it together."

With the energy I had left, enough for one last teleportation, the idea of going into the Aether with Sahra germinated in my mind. Jalik had made it clear that the rules of the Aether forbade taking anyone without links to the djinn. However, our telepathic connection, as unexpected as it was inexplicable, could be the key. If our link was strong enough, Sahra could accompany me. And if that didn't work, I'd have to find a solution with Jalik, because the idea of leaving Sahra alone was inconceivable.

"We'll try something," I said to Sahra, hoping my inner voice would come through clearly to her. "I'm going to take us somewhere... somewhere different. But I don't know if it will work for you."

In my head, I sensed her curiosity, her concern perhaps, but also her confidence. It was a leap into the unknown for both of us, but the fact that she didn't shy away from that uncertainty strengthened my resolve.

I took a deep breath, concentrating the last vestiges of my energy to activate my mirror eyes. The starry night and the cold desert began to dissipate, replaced by the luminous veil of the Aether. Sahra, snuggled up against me, seemed to fade into the light with me, her weight still in my arms confirming that she remained by my side.

When the light faded, we found ourselves in the Aether, the realm of the djinn. The air, charged with energy, vibrated around us, a world both alien and fascinating. I immediately checked on Sahra, relieved to see that she had made the journey.

No sooner had I set foot in the Aether than the djinn, in all their different shapes and colours, surrounded me, expressing their admiration for what I had achieved. Among them was Irwin, the zoetheric researcher, whose approach was distinguished by a pronounced curiosity for Sahra. "Hello, I'm Irwin, a specialist in flora and fauna here and in the visible world. Your prowess has impressed us all. Could this fennec be carrying a special ruh? I'd love to know more," he said, his eyes shining with scientific curiosity.

I hugged Sahra to me, an instinctive reaction rather than a considered decision. "No, she's staying with me," I replied, my voice betraying my childish distrust.

Irwin stepped back respectfully, understanding the boundary I had drawn. "I respect that. Excuse my intrusion," he said before slipping away, making way for Jalik who, with his imposing stature, seemed to erase all tension.

"You did well, Zayn," Jalik congratulated me, his voice full of obvious pride. "I was ready to intervene, but you showed great bravery."

On the way to his estate, I couldn't contain my curiosity. "Jalik, why can I talk to Sahra in my head?" I asked, my voice full of the wonder of being eight years old.

Before Jalik could answer, a clear, innocent voice rang out, not in the air but directly in our minds. "And you, big boy, who are you?" asked Sahra, her naive question addressed to Jalik but also heard by me.

Jalik lowered himself to our level, a benevolent smile on his lips. "I'm a friend, Sahra. An old friend of your dad here," he explained, using the term 'dad' that Sahra had attributed to me.

"You take care of Dad?" his question, imbued with the purity of childhood, melted my heart.

"Yes, Sahra. Just as I'll take care of you," Jalik replied, his promise floating gently between us.

Jalik straightened, looking at us in turn. "Totems, and Sahra is a perfect example, choose their mate. It's not their power that makes them unique, but the bond they form with their master. They share their life expectancy, ageing more slowly, especially before meeting the one destined to be their master."

The revelation hit me hard, the importance of Sahra in my life taking on a new dimension. "So, Sahra is going to be with me for a very long time?" I asked, the idea warming my heart.

"Yes, Zayn. You're bound to have some great adventures once your training is over."

Tiredness suddenly overcame me, my adventures of the day weighing heavily on my young shoulders. Jalik noticed this and, with a gesture, ordered his servants who had been following us in the shadows to escort me to a well-deserved rest. "Go and rest now, Zayn. The adventure continues tomorrow, and you'll need all your strength."

Snuggled up in bed with Sahra by my side, I fell asleep with the comforting feeling of having found not only a protector in Jalik but also a family in Sahra.


Eight years later.

The years at Aether Haven had passed like dreams, eight years that had matured me beyond my physical age of ten. My mind, now that of a sixteen-year-old, bore the marks of the experience and knowledge I had acquired in this world apart.

The day my training came to an end came with a significant victory over a prominent member of Jalik's guard. This battle, a symbol of all the trials and lessons endured, was the final milestone on my learning journey. Jalik, witness to my growth, approached me with the solemnity the occasion demanded. "Zayn, your training is complete," he announced, a glint of pride in his eyes. "It's time for you to fulfil your destiny."

Jalik's words resonated within me, awakening a joy tinged with unexpected sadness. The bond forged with Aether Haven, with Jalik, and with all those who had travelled this journey alongside me, weighed heavy on my heart.

"Before you leave, join me in the throne room. We have one last discussion to have," he added, his gaze searching mine for my thoughts and feelings.

The way to the throne room seemed both short and long, each step an echo of my journey here. Jalik was waiting for me, his imposing silhouette standing out against the majestic backdrop of the hall, bathed in soft light.

In front of him, I stood, imbued with a confidence forged over the years, with Sahra resting serenely on my head, ready to begin the discussion that would mark the end of my presence here...