Alëxios chose to forgo the customary greetings with the mayor in favor of demanding immediate treatment for Malaykah. He stormed through the halls with his arms full. He had insisted on carrying her since the moment she was retrieved from the icy river. Nine members of the waitstaff and three physicians frantically attempted to treat the king.
Alëxios dodged and weaved through the vexed crowd, which shook the very foundation of the house. No one in the cluster was fast or strong enough to catch him. He only stopped jostling about when Malaykah seemed to rouse back into consciousness. She had been slipping in and out for quite some time.
She opened her mouth to let out a faint raspy whisper.
“You’re hurting—I hurt—my shoulder—“
Alëxios gasped in horror, then lowered his forehead onto hers.
“Forgive me, my love,” he whispered before looking up at their audience. “Why do you stand like mindless statues?” he roared.
An old slender medic with bronze skin and blue hair sauntered behind Alëxios to fretfully tap him on the shoulder.
“My Lord, we meant no offense. In fact, we are here at your service to tend to your wounds. Therefore, please allow us to examine you at once,” he said.
Alëxios tilted his head back with a glare that could quickly have burned a hole in the cinder walls of the cabin.
“You seem confused. I stand before you, fully alert and well enough to show you that someone important has a greater need for care than me. Surely you can know this; unless there is sand in your ears, lack sight, or are incompetent. There is no need to examine me, he replied.”
The medic glanced at Malaykah’s lifeless body (she passed out once more), then back at the king.
“Sire, we can attend to the maiden in due time. But, at this very moment, our main concern is for your wellbeing,” he answered confidently.
For a brief moment, there was silence. No one knew precisely what the temperamental king would do or say next. He stood motionless with his eyes closed.
“Clearly, you do not understand. She is NOT just a maiden,” he exhaled sharply.
The lead physician took a step forward to look closer.
“Ah, yes! She must be the magnificent Divine Maiden. Her arrival has been acclaimed throughout the realm,” he answered.
A long silent pause kept the crowd nearly breathless as they awaited the king’s response.
Alëxios laughed maniacally, then stopped. “She is the Divine Queen of Phëläniciä, both deity and royalty,” he announced with venomously darted eyes at the medic.
~Ch. 14 (revised), Somewhere Beyond the Stars and Sea~