The Phëläniciäns took flight once more to head to the Tri-cities. Alëxios quelled his wrath so that he could find Malaykah in one piece. The battalion did not stop to take any breaks or rest from the cove. Time was of the essence, and no one wanted Malaykah to suffer another moment. It was then the longest journeying the fleet had taken together.
They landed on the outskirts early one morning. Daybreak could not come bustling through the giant trees and overgrown grass of the Tri-cities. Alëxios sliced through the paths with a saber, as he did not want to overuse the Excalibur sword for remedial tasks. The hordes of cherubs stampeded through the area until they stumbled upon Alëxios.
They all bowed down to him reverently, then carried on their way to roam about. It became clear that the mindless cherubs would not have been able to help Malaykah, even if they recognized her divinity. The battalion followed a small gaggle within the second cave since Alëxios read the engraved markings that indicated to do so. Before long, they hit the bottom of the cavern. Alëxios sensed a powerful aura nearby, which caused him to become anxious.
Around the corner, they found Malaykah lying lifelessly on the ground. Her face was hidden behind her long braids. In her hands, the Őrb globe clutched tightly to her chest. Suddenly, the Őrb dissolved. Then a forcefield of twinkling silver and blue stars stretched over her body. At first glance, she appeared not to be breathing.
“Malaykah,” Alëxios called to her in an unevenly shaken tone.
She stirred only a little and moaned weakly.
“Malaykah, I am here. I have come to help you,” Alëxios called again with more confidence.
He knelt down beside her, then tried to touch her hair. The powerful aura of the forcefield knocked him back, at least eight feet. Alëxios used cat-like agility to land on his feet. He sighed heavily and covered his hands over his face.
“This is the aura from The Moon’s children. Apparently, they are protecting Malaykah. This is quite the mystery, considering The Moon has ill will against her for an obviously misunderstood trespass,” he said.
He walked back to Malaykah and called her name three times more. Finally, she let out a long sigh and turned her head. She was blinded by a thousand tiny bright lights when she opened her eyes. Her ears rang, her head ached, and her throat felt raw. She tried to sit up but was dizzied by all of her ailments. Then, through the lights, she saw two piercing green eyes. She came fully to her senses, and all her conditions ceased at once.
Malaykah was surprised to still be in the realm. She was certained that she prayed to return home before she black-out. The shield evaporated soon after, which allowed Alëxios to finally embrace her. She looked out at the dragon fleet and spotted Meikko among the others. The young dragon appeared to weep. Without awareness, Malaykah unleashed the veil to her thoughts. Alëxios gasped in horror at the entire revelation of her ordeal with Bässäm.
He hugged her tighter to his chest and cried, “My love, why did you not call for me to be by your side? How could you hide away your thoughts from me when you were in danger?”
Malaykah pulled away from Alëxios and looked him in the eyes.
“I only wanted to protect you. I knew you would lose control if you found out what Bässäm
did to me. I couldn’t save Känëbräl, but I had to save the rest of the realm.”
Alëxios sat with a brief silence. He was unnerved that Malaykah sacrificed herself to save him from destroying the realm. No one could have, or even ever, offered to put him before themselves. He knew that none of his consorts in the harem would have made the same choice. It was unfathomable to him why The Moon was angry with her.
Malaykah stood and leaned against the cavern wall.
“We have to go now. We have to go to The Moon,” she said.
Alëxios stood and grabbed her shoulders.
“How do you know of this?” he demanded.
A single tear slid down Malaykah’s face. She looked at Alëxios fearfully and said, “The Ultimate Creator, Chrëst, just told me.”
~Ch. 26, The Realm Beyond the Stars and Sea~