Alëxios quickly wiped away his tears and regained complete composure. He turned to his counterparts and declared, “Know this; I continue to hold both of you in the highest esteem. Mighty Byakko will always be remembered as my 2nd self on the battlefield. We could not be any closer, even if we were actually brothers. In the monastery temples, we became each other’s lifelines. I watched a fierce battalion leader become a doting father to young Meikko and raise her up to be my queen’s personal guard. I would never allow any harm to come to either of you on behalf of my own errored ways.”
Byakko nodded in agreement.
“What do you plan to do, Alëxios?” He asked.
Alëxios did not answer right away. He sat on the ground cross-legged and began to meditate. They all waited in silence for several moments as Alëxios summoned the legendary Excalibur sword from the Divine Plains. The sky showered golden raindrops and released the blade into his hands.
Alëxios stood in a cavalier fashion and said, “I shall exact revenge on all those who harmed and took advantage of my queen.”
With that, he leaped off the cliff and ascended to the sky. Byakko commanded the entire dragon battalion to follow soon after.
The Phëläniciäns turned the nine-day route taken by Bässäm and Malaykah into an overnight trip by flight. They arrived at the cove and dove right to the bottom of the sea. With Alëxios being a deity, there was no need to seek the Ferry Man for a coin to unlock the portal of the whirlpool. Once they reached their destination, Alëxios unsheathed the Excalibur sword and tapped it against the cave wall.
“Come to me, evil sea witch! You must atone for your sins,” he shouted as he unleashed an enormous portion of his chaos.
The sediment rocks within the cave began to crumble, but Alëxios and the dragons held steady in their footing. Then, suddenly fluorescent light from Mäüdräh’s aura illuminated the space.
“I am the great and powerful Mäüdräh. Who dares—” she spoke but was interrupted by Alëxios when he slammed her against the wall and held the Excalibur sword to her throat.
“It is I who shall ask all the questions,” he said with a malicious smirk.
Mäüdräh’s cold dead eyes locked in with his piercing green eyes and shrieked upon realizing precisely who he was. She trembled and waited for his inquiry.
“Within the last fortnight, you were visited by two individuals. Were you not?” he asked.
Mäüdräh cackled with a sigh.
“Divine King Alëxios, it is well within your knowledge that I am visited by a barrage of individuals on a never-ceasing basis. They come here at all times to disturb my sentenced slumber. It is entirely too impossible to keep track of them all,” she replied.
Byakko and the other dragons began a low growl that echoed throughout the space of the cave. Then Alëxios unleashed more of his chaos, which caused Mäüdräh’s aura to dim and the room turned pitch-black. The sediments in the cave floor and walls gave way, and water enveloped everywhere.
Mäüdräh shrieked again in terror.
“Beg forgiveness, My Lord! I misspoke. I know of whom you speak on,” she said nervously.
“A raunchy eunuch and a maiden, to be exact,” Alëxios replied,
“Ah, yes! They were here many nights ago,” she answered.
Alëxios receded some of his chaos and removed the Excalibur sword from Mäüdräh’s throat.
“Tell me everything. What did the eunuch want?” he asked.
Mäüdräh cackled again, this time from amusement.
“He wanted what everyone wants; to obtain the Őrb, for realm domination. So I gave him the coordinates, just as I have always done.”
Alëxios grabbed Mäüdräh’s forehead and slammed the back of her head into the wall, which made the entire cave shake, and more water seeped through the weakened walls.
“So, you boldly confess that you purposefully lead the Queen of Phëläniciä to ruin!” he exclaimed.
Mäüdräh gasped for air as the water rose above her head. Alëxios lifted her by the neck so that the water rested at her chin level.
“My Lord, I beg you to hear me! I did no such thing,” she cried. He squeezed his hand on her throat as she continued.
“I was aware then, just as I am aware now, that I was in the presence of a deity. A mere lowly titan like me would gain no fortune from deceit. I swear to you, I gave no false account to the Daughter of Oshun.”
Alëxios released his hand from her throat, then quickly used the Excalibur sword to stab her in the heart.
“You have been a menace within the realm for far too long. Even if you spoke in truth, I cannot in good faith allow your continued havoc to reign,” he replied.
Mäüdräh let out a long wheeze when he removed the sword from her heart.
“You have done me a great service, Mighty King Alëxios. In the beginning, I taunted fortune seekers for my own amusement. After the 1st Season of Judgement, I hoped my sentenced slumber would finally put an end to the vicious cycle. Twenty centuries later, I realized my eternal damnation was to continuously repeat my trickery and deceit and never receive any rest. There is no amusement in my existence. As a god, you have rightfully ended the fixed situation. Now, I am finally free,” she weakly cackled before she turned to dust.
Meikko stood next to her father in astonishment.
“Father, why did King Alëxios kill the banshee after the knowledge that she did not lead our queen astray?’ she asked.
“In truth, he did so as an act of mercy and in hopes that Captain Mi’yämë’ shall be freed to die in peace,” he answered with admiration for his kin and king.
~Ch. 26, The Realm Beyond the Stars and Sea~