by Tenshi

Our world has turned to sand while I've waited for your voice. The slow crawl of centuries, the beating winds of time, were all little more than shadows over me while I slept. And it is in shadow that I come to you now, though the ages have broken you, though you yourself do not understand what it is you have called, who it is you have called. I come, my liege, as I always have at your command, and as I always will, while ties of fealty and love bind my soul to stone and my heart to yours.

This, then, is the boy you have chosen. This small one with your determination in his eyes, his mortal heart shuddering at the first taste of the darkness he must face. He looks enough like you that it is startling, his hair in the brilliant crest of a king, though his skin is as pale as the moon. A slip of paper is held in his fingers, cunningly painted, in place of monoliths of stone. It is an odd, fragile haven to hold a soul. His touch--your touch--is sure and certain on it, and though strange is the tongue that calls me, my name in your voice needs no language. In the swirling between of the shadow realm, I am given form for you.

The battle is brief, but it is only the first of many duels. I hear you cry out as I fall, as though lost all over again, as though such a slight thing is enough to end me forever. The voice behind your own is one I have heard before at a distance, falling into my dreams like starlight. He has called me many times, in games of little import, games where that paper votive served in my stead. I have never truly fought for him before, yet his faith in me is no less than yours. Though for him I am little more than a daydream, I know he grieves every time I fail, as the great general gives due to the least of his men.

You have chosen your companion well. For you, my Pharaoh, and for the boy who gives your soul shelter, I will fight. You do not yet remember your Mahado, but he remembers you.


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