“We could bring him back, you know…” The hoarse whisper echoed around the empty glade, and Luqa jumped, despite himself. It had been a long time since his other had made an offer.
“I don’t believe that’s actually in your power.” Luqa answered despite himself. He usually tried to ignore his passenger, but the audacity of the claim caught Luqa by surprise.
“Perhaps, perhaps not. We could get help, I’m sure the witch you met would be happy to get her claws into a saint!” Luqa sighed and closed his eyes again, ignoring the voice. Deep breath, move through the spear forms. Hear the beat of your heart in your ears.

Luqa is 8 years old, breathing heavily, tears of rage at some perceived slight cloud his vision as he stands over another child. A Sahirim monk passing by scolds him.

Luqa is 14, his heart pounding as he stabs the spear into the dummy, the Jinn chattering incessantly in his head.

Luqa is 23, his adrenaline racing, the first man he ever killed laying at his feet. The padishah was safe, but at what cost? Was this him now?

“Breath child, hear your heartbeat, listen to your body!” 8 year old Luqa looks up at the monk, not understanding. He stabs the spear into the dummy as the voice echoes in his head, drowning out the Jinn. “All time is a cycle, it continues the way you direct it into perpetuity.” Was the dead man his perpetuity? Was he destined to be a killer for all time? “The heartbeat is the purest cycle of time, with each breath and each beat, life flows through you.” Luqa focused on his breathing as he continued to stab the dummy. The Jinn would not control his life. “You can control the flow of your own time, one cycle, one heartbeat at a time” 8 year old Luqa ran home to hide behind his mother’s skirt. “Time is a circle, but it need not be the same circle” Luqa wipes the blood off of his spear. The other guards come to see the commotion, but Luqa is already resuming his patrol of the palace.

Luqa breathed out, then in again. Each cycle, new. No, he would not look back at the loss of St. Rolf the Unbroken. He would not continue to wallow in self pity for his part in Rolf’s death. But Rolf the Unbroken would live in each new breath.

“I will not be the same circle”

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