A quelques jours du mondial, on ne parle que football en Tunisie, 4-3-3 ou 4-5-1, l’aptitude de Khazri à jouer le premier match contre la sélection des « Three Lions »… Tout le monde se projette vers Volvograd. Lorsque l’horloge marquera 19h d’un certain 18 Juin, nous serons 11 millions de cœurs d’esprits avec les 11 joueurs qui seront sur terrain… Je pense qu’à partir d’aujourd’hui, plus rien ne nous intéresse, politique, crise économique … même la chute du dinar ne sera pas un sujet attractif pour nous. Only football does matter now …
On a ça dans le sang, l’amour du football et du sport. Nous, les tunisiens, considérons le sport comme un élément sacré dans notre vie. Pour nous, le sport dépasse sa juste valeur. Dans ce petit pays, j’ai toujours cru dur comme fer que le sport n’est qu’un miroir reflétant l’image que porte ce peuple sur nos gouverneurs. Il suffit d’assister à un match de football, basketball ou handball pour tout comprendre. Il suffit de voir ces jeunes entre 16 et 28 ans, torse nus, chantant contre la répression du système et la violence des forces de sécurités pendant la totalité des matchs, sans cesse et sans fatigue. Il suffit aussi de voir ces affrontements réguliers entre les ultras et la police. Si les gens ont souligné les affaires du défunt Omar Labidi, supporter du Club Africain retrouvé noyé après un match de football, et des frères Bouzouida, supporters de l’Etoile Sportive de Rades agressés après un match de basketball, je dirai que chaque weekend, on a droit à un spectacle de ce genre, que ce soit entre les équipes, ou entre les supporters et la police. La question qui se pose ici, pourquoi ? Pour la simple raison que les stades étaient toujours la seule bouffée d’air pour les gens. Dans un régime qui étouffait toute activité politique, culturelle, civile jusqu’à 2011, les gens ont retrouvé les gradins comme leur seul refuge. Et donc, les stades n’étaient pas un choix de luxe. C’était le seul espace libre accessible. Et donc, chez nos stades, on retrouvait tout, les intentions antisystèmes, les déclarations régionalistes, la violence physique et verbale…. Un de ces dimanches, je regardais la télévision, et une phrase m’a interpellé « Si vous voulez connaître l’état de la société, regardez les stades » et il a totalement raison …
Dans ce petit pays, le football n’est pas une simple forme de « résistance civile », si on se permet de dire cela, mais il est aussi révélateur d’une maladie sociale qui menace la stabilité de ce pays. En Tunisie, on donne à nos équipes sportives une dimension plus que sportive. On demande à nos équipes de défendre l’honneur de nos régions … car on est régionaliste de nature en Tunisie. Les chansons des supporters mettaient toujours en valeur la région, « The town » et dénigraient les régions des équipes adverses. Ceci est un constat depuis des années. Si le débat religieux ou tribal ne se pose comme le cas de plusieurs pays tels que l’Egypte, la Libye, le Liban ou le Yémen, on fait face à un autre débat tabou en Tunisie : le débat régional, un cancer qui essaye de détruire l’équilibre social du pays. En Tunisie, tu es étiqueté par ta région : Sahel, Nord-Ouest, Sud, Nord, Sfax … cette information est plus importante que ton niveau social, ton diplôme ou même ton nom. Ta réponse sera d’une importance cruciale. A la base de ta réponse, on va t’accorder un certain traitement … car on a tous nos préjugés sur les gens provenant des différentes régions du pays … Tu entends ça tous les jours, dans l’environnement professionnel, aux cafés, dans le métro … et surtout dans les affaires de mariage … on recherche toujours l’origine de la personne pour voir s’il est « bien » ou non. Il y avait des infinités de mariages qui ont été annulés car l’un d’eux venait d’une région qui ne « plaisait » pas à la famille de l’autre. … Personnellement, je considère que le régionalisme est la peste de ce pays. C’est un fléau capable de mettre le pays en ébullition et, dans le pire des cas, faire monter une guerre civile. Depuis 2011, aucun gouvernement ne s’est intéressé à ce dossier chaud socialement. Pourtant, on a vécu des moments où les tensions régionalistes ont été montées. Pire encore, nos chers politiciens mettaient l’huile sur le feu avec des déclarations qui puaient le régionalisme parfois, ce qui est très dangereux pour la stabilité sociale. Je pense que c’est un dossier auquel tout le monde devraient se mettre : gouvernement, partis politiques, associations, société civile. Il faut mettre en place un plan de réforme social pour combattre le régionalisme en Tunisie. C’est le maillon faible… N’importe quel pays ou organisme ayant la volonté de détruire le pays peut profiter de ce point pour atteindre ses objectifs. Et à l’occasion du mondial, j’ai un message à chacun de nous,
« هاذوكم ولاد تونس … عمرك ما تخمم شكون ولد جهتك و شكون لا … الكلهم ولاد بلادك … الكلنا توانسة … و موش على خاطر الملاعبي هذاكا ساحلي والا صفاقسي و الا كافي بش تولي فيه العيوب السبعة و هو اخيب ملاعبي …ال 11 ملاعبي عطات اللي عندها و ياما فرحونا قبل و باش يعطيو اللي عندهم في روسيا باش يفرحونا… خلينا الكل وراهم … وراء راية النجمة و الهلال … و خلينا ننساو في هالايامات منين جاو و شنوة اصلهم … هاذوكم توانسة كيفنا كيفهم … من لحمنا ودمنا … ولادنا رافعين رايتنا … ووين ما مشاو لقاو التوانسة وراهم … شبيهم التوانسة في الخارج ينساو الأصل و ما تربطهم كان كلمة تونس … و الا لازمنا نتغربو باش نفهموا اللي الجهويات سم يجري في البلاد ينجم يقضي عليها في أي لحظة … شبينا كي نسافرو ننساو جهاتنا … في الستاد في القهوة في الشارع في الخدمة … تلمنا النجمة و الهلال و الكسكسي و القهوة العربي و لهجتنا المزيانة باختلافاتها الكل … انا و اني و نايا ما عادش يولي عندهم قيمة كي تولي في باريس والا روما و الا نيويورك … اما يخليو تعرف عبد تشم عليه ريحة البلاد في غربتك… حبوا بعضكم … رانا لحم واحد و دم واحد »
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Seeker of Fate: Part10, the last
After the blackness of a rainy night, the golden star rose on the horizon, spreading her radiance in every direction.
She was sleeping soundly and calmly like a little child beneath a tree. This time, her ugly face half was no more. It returned to what it was once. Now, she was no different than a charming young princess with silver grey hair. The warmth coming from the sun actually did surprise her and made her wake up abruptly.
“Ehh.. It’s the sun. But this is… strange. Why am I not affected by it? And… why is my head not hurting me anymore when I’m without the mask covering my accursed face?” She touched her face to see that it was smooth and silky. “This can’t be?!” She shouted surprisingly. Besides, she saw the giant headless corpse of Perun evaporating into nothingness. That void purplish dark substance that reeked from his body was instantly disappearing under the rays of sunlight.
“I can’t remember a thing after that Immortal Prince beheaded Perun. Where did he go?” Spoke the Huntress to herself.
Under the mist that swirled thicker than the threads of silk, the Huntress stepped on. She was feeling strangely as if her sensations had returned to her. Before, she would never feel warmth or cold. Now, she was sensing every kind of refreshment and emotion.
She saw Melvim in a lesser human-sized form, tending to what was once the mighty dragon of Veles that fused together with Boran to fight Perun not so long ago.
“We were waiting for you.” Said the prince after sensing her coming.
The Huntress was however more concerned by the state of the dragon who lost most of his body as it turned all into glowing mist that was dancing around them and only its main serpentine head remained.
A familiar voice spoke from the colossus head:
“I see you have restored some of your humanity.”
“Ehh? What?” The Huntress was surprised hearing that. Humanity? She never felt related to this word at all since decades.
“That’s to be expected from the chosen of the Witch. Each Immortal had its own perk and without a doubt you were blessed by the best of them, Undead Slayer.” Said Melvim.
“But… Who is this dragon exactly? Isn’t he a mindless beast of that Immortal Veles?” She wondered.
“ Oh, that’s rude of you! I’m so sad! You did not know me yet?! I’m Boran!” Yelled miserably that voice coming from within the skull of the dragon that lost its flesh already.
“That Sun Knight?! Oh, so you were able to control the beast from within. This… this is insane! You must be a very powerful necromancer to able to do such a feat. I can’t imagine that you escaped my mystic vision without being far stronger than me.” Boasted the Huntress.
“It might not be the case. It’s far more complicated than that.” Said Melvim.
“Now, Huntress, since I will be parting soon, I have to tell you my little story.” A jade emerald spirit emerged from the skull and it was indeed the manifestation of the Sun Knight Boran.
“I’m not a necromancer, an undead, a lich or an Immortal or anything else. I’m just a ghost, a phantom who had very specific circumstances that allowed it to materialize efficiently and gain an enormous consciousness that was not supposed to be held by a phantom.” Said Boran.
The Huntress was extremely shocked after hearing that and said:
“But I should have known that!? How could you ?!”
The Spirit answered:
“As I said, I had very special circumstances. It was a miracle that I was able to carry the will and the memories of the person I embodied. He was the brother of Persolis the noble who was trying to summon Perun. The two were among the very few survivors of Dazbog that was destroyed by King Triglav and his Immortal; as you can see, it became a tale of revenge. They fostered hopes of reviving the legacy of the Bringer of Culture, Dazbog, by reforming the tribe and turning it into a kingdom of its own at the expense of the current kingdom of Crodon.”
“Raymon became acquainted with the Mad Wizard Elymas and learnt all forms of dark sorceries and necromancies as well as his white magic that was used by him to hide his true nature. Boran frowned upon the new path his brother chose and decided to abandon him. He believed that restoring the tribe must be through just and honorable ways and so he left his brother thinking that he did succumb to temptation and corruption. Eventually, he died alone and in a horrible way and in his last hour, he wished if he could have done better in life; If he did not abandon his brother and if he did not give up his hope; maybe it would have been different… He then had one final desire: to free his brother from the darkness that engulfed his heart.”
“ Thus I was born; this nameless phantom that haunted the night. I was like all my siblings; a mindless being of the night created from the pain and the blood of those who died in the most miserable ways. The dying wishes of Boran became my very essence and I used them to exist until now. Phantoms don’t last for long but I was able to do all thanks to Boran’s heart.”
Melvim was lowering his head while the Huntress was speechless.
“I expect the real Boran to be so glad right now. Not only we freed him from his terrible curse but we put his sense back into his mind in the last moments of his life. If you did not notice, I never expected Death Brand to be able to weaken the Thunderer that much. It was without a doubt a weapon capable of harming the Immortals but I’m not the true master of the blade and so its potential was not revealed at all. It was Persolis who weakened the Thunderer from within and because of that he fell. Perun was wondering for the whole time why he was falling apart with every passing second and it was too late for him to realize that the “fate” he consumed was the one who destroyed his own.” Explained Melvim.
“Unbelievable.” Said the Huntress while being thundertruck.
“I wanted to thank you, kind huntress. You might not look like it but you have a heart of gold. Preserve it and keep living until the last breath. Make sure that your death won’t go in vain and that it will be so meaningful. Do whatever must be done and fulfill what you believe in. Give it all of what you got. Die for it.” Said Boran’s phantom.
“Yes, I will do.” Answered the Huntress.
“Now, back to you, Mr Immortal, I hope that you succeed in your journey. Without a doubt, you’re going to save the kingdom. Even though I’m no soul, I will be praying that you reach the end of your journey, fulfilled.” Added the ghost.
“Thank you, honorable ghost. It has been an honor fighting by your side.” Said Melvim.
“Perhaps it’s the time for me to leave. I must say that it has been fun. I never expected it to end in a cool way. I… I thought there were never happy endings to begin with but the two of you proved me wrong hehehehe. Ahh…my energy is fading… I have one last wish; don’t forget Boran and his brother no matter what. Please hold their memories within your heart… I beg of you, honorable souls!” the ghost was sobbing as he faded into inexistence.
It disappeared. No reaction was coming from the Immortal or the Huntress at first but then… the woman kneeled to the ground and one tear appeared from her left eye.
“Is this what they call sadness?” She said.
The Huntress was trying to suppress her tears but she failed to do. So she cried at her utmost.
After a moment, the Huntress was seen lying down at a tree gazing at the clear blue sky.
“Winter is over.” Said Melvim as he approached the Huntress.
“Why are you still here? Do you still have business with me?” She said.
“Yes, maybe. What are you going to do from now on? You saw by yourself the fallacy of the legend about the book of the dead and every other necromantic book out there.” Asked Melvim.
“ I have nothing in mind really.” Said the Huntress.
“Ah before I tell you about an offer, may I have my pawn’s head back?” Said Melvim.
“Your pawn’s what?! What are you talking about?” Said the Huntress with mockery.
“You ripped off his head two days ago because you thought he was an Undead while he was just a pawn of a failure like myself.” Said Melvim.
“Don’t tell me… it’s that young blacksmith?! But what if I return the skull; he must be dead already.” She said.
“Not yet. If we waste any more time, that might be the case. Just give the skull already.” He said.
“And what if I don’t, geez, the boy will die and I will have to search for another pawn after the great time I spent with him.” Said Melvim.
“So you want me to help complete your own agenda. Aren’t you a bit selfish? You warned us about the threat of the Immortals and how they want to destroy humanity and yet who knows what plan you have.” Said the rogue coldly.
“It’s all for the sake of Mankind.” Said Melvim.
“But you’re using an innocent human. Isn’t it too much?” She said.
“I know. But I had no other choice. I barely found a new candidate after fifty years and I don’t want to waste one more set of fifty years searching again.” Melvim’s speech became more frustrated.
“I won’t give it. It’s a fine material to make a new weapon for my needs, unless you have the money for it.” She said.
“Then how about a duel?” He said.
The Huntress stood up as she was surprised by his proposition.
“I never thought you were brave enough to propose that. Fine then, the one who gets disarmed loses. Magic or Mystery is prohibited.”
“It’s a deal.”
The Huntress was confident from winning because of the revelations she got. She was blessed by the power of a benevolent Immortal, the Witch. She was able to make a choice and so to decide her fate on her own.
Melvim was calm however wielding his Death Brand. “She’s absolutely a weapon master. Her poise and her grace are almost without a match. It’s of course because of the one who told her how to fight in the first place…” Thought the Immortal.
The duel ended in one strike. The Knight was capable of winning with just one move that seemed so familiar to her. It consisted of deflecting her weapon and countering simultaneously. In fact, It was a prof of swordsmanship.
“You…” She muttered, “how do you know that move?”
“What did bother you about losing to such one technique?” He answered.
“Did you know someone by the name of Scirvir?” She asked.
The Immortal was silent for a moment but then replied:
“I knew you were going to bring up that name.” Answered the knight.
“Then you know him!” She shouted.
“Yes. He was after all my previous pawn.” He said.
The Huntress became suddenly mad and thrusted the Immortal using her glaive with a blinding speed.
“I see now… I see why I did suffer back then… it was because of you.” Uttered the Huntress angrily.
“Guhh… remember that this is not my real body. If you’re going to finish me off for real, you have to find my own tomb. But aside from that, it was Scirvir who accepted to be my pawn. He was truly the kind teacher you knew. And because of him, I knew a lot about you and I discovered that you were chosen by the Witch. So forgive me.” Apologized Melvim.
The woman released him from her grip and summoned her magical bag that she used to stock her “treasures”. She took out the skull of Zoran and threw it at the knight.
“Take it and be gone from my sight.” She said.
“Thank You. Now Zoran can truly resume his true journey. I still have one last request.” He said kindly.
“You still have the stomach to annoy me, coward prince?” She replied.
“Will you be the teacher of Zoran? No matter how I try to approach him, he refuses my assistance. He’s unaware of his new duty toward himself and toward the world. Would you be his guide?” Asked the prince.
“And why would I accept your request?!” Yelled the Huntress nervously.
“You are not going to do it not for my own sake but for the sake of the world. Zoran is supposed to be the Ultimate Hero that will restore the legacy of the three and repel the ancient evil that doomed my kingdom long ago. There’s only one fate missing, the Sun Hero Dazbog. For now, we acquired the fate of the Thunderer with your help and long ago we obtained that of Svarog the Forge Hero. As it appears to you, the Fate of the Witch is intertwined with that of the Ultimate Hero.” Answered Melvim.
“So you’re saying that I must help you because it is a part of my fate! Quit this blasphemy! I did not choose to do that and I’m the only one who has to decide on her own what to do with her own destiny!” Yelled the Huntress.
“You surely have a golden heart, Frida. I’m sure it will never allow you to abandon this world.” Replied the headless knight.
Thank you for everyone who gave this story a chance. I hope you have enjoyed it!