Aladdin took a long, deep breath, and slowly breathed it back out. Closed his eyes, and didn’t pry at the rukh. Just… let it wander toward him, if it wanted, and waited for any glimmers of images.
Through his eyelids, he could see a few bright flutters detach from the coil winding around the tower, and whisper down.
Stones. Cold. Hope, firm against the press of darkness. A dark-haired woman and her child, listening to the wind.
Aladdin raised his head, trying not to grin too much. “He’s in there. Somewhere deep under there, but he’s there. And he’s going to be okay.”
“Okay?” Morgan frowned, serious as Masrur about to take down an army.
“He’s got someone there he’s worried about,” Aladdin said firmly. “He won’t give up.”
Maria was holding out her hands to the bits of rukh, wide-eyed and wondering. “Why do they care? He has always calmed the flutters around us, always – and I do not know why.”
“Because he’s a king,” Aladdin said patiently. This world didn’t know, even the old world hadn’t really understood. “That’s what he does. He finds the will of the rukh, and he helps it. And when people are in trouble, when all the flow is knotted up, he straightens it out. That’s what h’reg means.”
“Deep in.” Morgan scowled at the tower, eyes creased as if she wanted to pounce, just not quite yet….
Gripped branches, bark powdering a little before she eased up. “They use poison gas. What can you do about that, without Amon’s fire?”
“I’m kind of hoping to make it so they don’t see us,” Aladdin admitted. “When they do see us – then I’m going to use Wind and Borgs, like we did in the storm drains. Ja’far’s antivenom spell works, but it’s not fast. Though… yeah.” He beamed at them. “I can start that spell on all of us now, and just keep it going. It’s on us, not the air around us, so the slavers won’t see it unless they see us.”