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Two figures, one male, the other female, appeared on either side of the small gold
chest. Ianus marveled at their sheer splendor.
“Can you help me?” Ianus shouted through the pain.
Together, they bowed their heads and covered the chest with their wings. The
pain lifted. Ianus gasped for air.
“Hello?” He shouted at the Celestials. “What do I do now? Can you even hear
A brilliant light blinded Ianus.
“Behold the Mother Light,” a familiar voice said, “Hold on, hold on!”
Suddenly, Kahlil Vamu Shaa appeared in front of the chest. “You lost it,” he
spoke again, “It is a sad thing, but not unexpected. You have made it here at last.”
“I remember you, from my initiation. You gave me this periapt,” Ianus looked
down at the shimmering red stone inset in the soft leather glove. “It confused Marnin to
no end.”
“I suspect a great many things would confuse him,” Kahlil laughed, “He is a good
man, but the shadow of your grandfather haunts him. He means well, but he lacks the
courage to be himself. You two are a lot alike. In time, he’ll learn.”
“Is that true for you as well?” Ianus asked.
“What do you mean by that?”
“I mean no disrespect, but I am sure that you are not really Kahlil Vamu Shaa.
I’ve given it a lot of thought since we first met. I was lost in a place between reason and
truth when I saw you, and you gave me this periapt. In the simulacrum, there is only
imagination and creativity. Someone else had to be in the room with me. I know this is
an illusion. Who are you?”
The image of Kahlil faded. A tall, willowy man took its place. He must have
been nine or ten feet tall. His long, black hair trailed down his back. Wearing little more
than a tan leather kilt over his ruddy-complexioned skin and his toned muscles, he was a
very imposing figure.
“My name is Eman Sarad,” he said, grinning widely, “And I am very pleased that
you saw through my disguise. You are the first person to lay eyes on one of my kind in
“I seem to be the first person in a long time to do a lot of things,” said Ianus,
“You are an Enmadra? I have read so much about your people.”