324 The Verses of Victory V
Aegin gripped his left wrist and snapped it back into place for healing, then reached up to adjust his jaw the same way. Such a one-sided fight was becoming tedious. Had it always been like this for the Chaos races? Did they just exchange blows until both of them got bored? He and Yashi must have been nearly there by now. They'd destroyed half a city.
"So, Vampire, do you think I burn now?" asked Yashi as he landed on the rubble just above Aegin's head.
"I haven't decided yet, your wind is too good at blowing out this little candle flame," Aegin said as his hand swept over the burning contents of the building they were in.
Yashi chuckled, "Candle flame? You say that as if it's not affecting your own flesh".
Aegin huffed, turning to look back as Yashi as he brushed a stray ember from his shoulder and tapped at the smouldering hold it had made in his cloak, "I've been through worse".
Yashi's amused expression suddenly froze, and he turned towards the Estate with shocked eyes. Seeing he was distracted, Aegin lunged forward. His claws passed through Yashi. Only this time, it didn't heal.
Ha! This was it! He'd finally worn the Djinn out!
But even as Aegin celebrated, he realised that something else was going on. Yashi wasn't even paying attention to him. The wind generated by the fire around them passed by them, and Yashi seemed to disintegrate like dust with it, vanishing before Aegin's eyes.
Aegin frowned. What had happened?
Aegin pushed his way out of the crumbling building and onto the street, seeking answers from the Mist as he tried to track Yashi's location. He moved rapidly from the burning zone towards the as yet unburned part of the city. Then, as the air before him began to clear of smoke and ash, Aegin sensed it. His eyes turned towards the Estate.
Yashi had gone back to his Master. Or rather, he'd been recalled.
Someone new had taken up the Djinn's Vessel.
Aegin ran forward.
The room was still for a moment before Gryffyn's expression morphed from shock to rage and he thundered across the room towards Rima.
Sevis and Tigin reacted a heartbeat later. Tigin dragging Rima behind him, and Sevis propelling himself forward to intercept Gryffyn.
"Oh no you don't!" said Sevis as he raised his sword at Gryffyn.
"Give it back little girl!" snapped Gryffyn as he tried to dodge around Sevis, "You have no idea the power you're messing with. Only I can control the Djinn!"
Sevis frowned, "Come now, Gryffyn, I hardly think you look the part to be claiming that".
Rima opened her mouth to speak out too.
The air whispered and Rima felt it pass over her skin. She shivered, taking an involuntary step back. She frowned. That…that felt weird.
Louder this time, and clearer. Like someone was speaking close by. She turned, seeking out the voice.
"Bluesun?" Rima muttered, confusion in her tone. Her eyes found nothing as she vaguely registered Tigin turning to ask if she was okay. But her eyes were immediately drawn to the pendant hanging from her fingers.
"Rima Bluesun…is that not the name you wish for?"
The voice was right there, right before her, on that old pendant that held the image of a circle. Inside the circle was a series of lines, increasing in length from base to top, forming an upside-down triangle shape. It was the first time she'd been able to see the design there, and it intrigued her. She drew the pendant closer, and realised that it seemed to be covered in a layer of dust.
"Rima Bluesun…do you not wish to hold the name of your mother more than anything else?"
"My mother?" asked Rima, "Her name…but my mother ran away".
"A new name then. A new name for a new Rima…"
The voice seemed to pause a moment.
"All the good you have done for this Tribe who has been all but abandoned by it's Chieftain…Bluesand. Rima Bluesand," said the voice, it's tone so hypnotic, "A name and a title with it. No longer a Princess, but a Chieftain. A leader of two great Tribes. Such a great responsibility. But you will do it".
"Two great tribes…" Rima frowned, then she gasped, "The fire, the fire will kill them all".
"Just say the word and all will be fixed. Just say the word and the fire will destroy no more," the voice promised.
"What word?" asked Rima.
"You must wish for it, and promise something in return. Every great leader must sacrifice something," said the voice.
"Wish?" Rima frowned, recognition penetrating her hazy mind, "Ya…Yashi?"
"What do you say, Rima Bluesand? You do not have to sacrifice too much. Perhaps you should give away your street smarts from Rene. After all, you have no need for them anymore. Or perhaps your skills with a sword, you appear to have little talent in that. Or, maybe that memory of your mother, the one where she combs your hair and tells you stories. That should be more than enough to save your Tribes…"
"My mother…why would you take memories of my mother?" asked Rima.
"It won't hurt. And once they are gone, you won't even remember they were there. It is hard to miss something you don't even remember," said Yashi. For Rima was certain it was the Djinn now.
The sound was muffled, but she knew it was her name and she turned towards it.
"Decide, Rima Bluesand," Yashi's voice cut back into her concentration, drawing her eye back to the pendant.
Loud this time, more distinct.
She stared at the Pendant long and hard, unable to help it as her thumb swiped over the dusty surface to reveal a clear, crystal like surface beneath it.
"If I don't remember the what I paid to make a wish, how long until the sacrifices out number what I have left?" asked Rima.
Yashi seemed to hesitate. There was no physical reference that Rima had, but she could somehow sense that the question had surprised him. As if no one had asked that before.
"When you can have everything you ever desire, does it really matter?" asked Yashi.
"I can't have my mother," said Rima, "Dead is dead. My memories are all I have left of her".
"Then you can pay with something el-"
Rima's eyes snapped up, and she met Tigin's worried gaze.