Grace Renewed

As the party approached The Moon, Malaykah dismounted Meikko and clung to Alëxios as he carried her the rest of the way. She could hear his heart pound faster and read his thoughts that he wished to whisk her away from the realm. Malaykah kissed Alëxios on the neck, which managed to soothe him, even if only in the slightest instance.

When they landed on The Moon’s surface, a mighty gush of wind washed over them. Then, the pair were swept underneath the leaves of a giant ivory weeping willow tree. This tree wept with millions of tiny leaves that fell and swirled to the ground. Alëxios pulled Malaykah into his arms to keep her from being swept away from the powerful current of the wind. They read each other’s thoughts and were both consumed with fear.

Suddenly, the Jade Rabbit’ Yù tù’, appeared before them. The Jade Rabbit was known within the realm as the High Priest to The Moon.

Suddenly, the harsh winds and weeping willow ceased. The three entities glared at each other in awkwardness.

“Greetings, visitors; Mighty God of War, King Alëxios and Divine Queen Malaykah. I am ‘Yù tù,’ and I speak to you on behalf of The Moon. She called this trial into session to determine the best measures to move forward from the latest upset of events within the realm. Both she and The Ultimate Creator, Chrëst, shall also preside over these proceedings. My role is to serve as a mediator.

Alëxios wasted no time to plead on Malaykah’s behalf. He took one step towards The Jade Rabbit and began to plead his case.

“Let me state for the record; this entire disaster was mostly of my doing. I brought Malaykah to the realm. Therefore, any offense made since her arrival was not done of her own volition,” he argued.

‘Yù tù’ sized up Alëxios and scoffed indignantly, “We are not here to question your chosen queen’s right to dwell within this realm. As far as we are concerned, she came here with desires and her free will. The Moon’s children at the matter at hand. That is what is at stake in this very moment.”

Alëxios quickly clasped his right fist and bowed on one knee with his left hand. His act of humility was something never seen before within the realm, which took both ‘Yù tù’ and Malaykah by surprise.

“Being so as it may, Malaykah was a victim of circumstances. She was brutally accosted and kidnapped by the treasonous eunuch Bässäm. He took advantage of her divinity and called upon the oracle to direct the location of the Őrb. No other creature within the realm would take such an appalling risk,” Alëxios continued.

‘Yù tù’ leered at Alëxios in an unimpressed manner, and mocked, “The eunuch, Bässäm, received his just comeuppance for every one of his crimes.” He then turned his gaze to Malaykah. “The Moon would like to hear from you. Tell us of your intentions since you arrived in the realm.”

Malaykah gulped and bowed next to Alëxios. Her mind spun for a moment as she tried to calm her nerves.

“Initially, I had no definitive intentions.” She locked eyes with Alëxios as she spoke. “I suppose curiosity got the best of me. I wanted to learn more about Alëxios, and when I came to Phëläniciä, I fell in love with everything about him. When the castle was attacked, I just wanted to help everyone,” she answered.

Alëxios and the other entities listened intently as Malaykah’s voice became more poised. Her eyes glowed in the amber hue, which indicated she was possessed by the goddess within. She clenched her chest as if a deep-rooted pain gnawed at her heart.

“When I was kidnapped, all I could think to do was buy time. I did not know what could happen. So I chose to protect Alëxios and the realm. I had hoped that Mäüdräh would curse us before we found the Őrb. I wanted to kill him, myself, so that he could not hurt The Moon’s children. My only sorrow is that I did not find enough strength to fight him as I did on Captain Mi’yämë’s ship.”

‘Yù tù’ smiled with satisfaction and said, “Rise, Daughter of Oshun. Know this; all have heard your testimony and also searched the contents of your spirit. We know you have spoken in truth. You fought well, Divine Queen. The Moon was profoundly moved by your open display of empathy and compassion for her children. Not one single creature inside this realm has ever looked at The Moon as a being to be pitied.” Finally, he nodded for Alëxios to stand. “The entire realm shall eternally owe you a debt of gratitude. Had you not blocked your husband’s intervention, the renowned war god most assuredly would have demolished everything in the wake of his understandable wrath.”

Malaykah curtsied and smiled back at the Jade Rabbit. Then she laced her fingers inside Alëxios’s fingers. He kissed her hand to acknowledge that he was proud of all she had accomplished.

‘Yù tù’ curiously tilted his head and stared at Malaykah.

“Tell me, child; do you not place any value upon your own well-being?” he asked.

Malaykah’s eyes returned to normal, but her goddess’s voice remained for her answer.

“I place more value on my ability to help others. There would be no need for Alëxios to rescue me if my predicament were only to cause him the kind of outrage that would destroy the realm. I couldn’t live with myself if I were the cause for him to be sentenced to eternal damnation.”

Her confession wounded Alëxios. It occurred to him that she would never allow him to help her, which was devastating. Nevertheless, he still felt the need to defend her from the Jade Rabbit.

“Malaykah’s self-sacrifice goes above and beyond what is expected of any being in the realm. Her natural tenacity has served to save us all,” she stated.

“Indeed. Which is what brought us to the current proceedings,” the Jade Rabbit quipped.

Alëxios and Malaykah glanced at each other. They both trembled and could not conceal their urgent sense of panic.

“The Moon proposed that the daughter of Oshun serve as a surrogate mother to her children. Therefore, the Ultimate Creator, Chrëst, is indebted to The Moon for her continuous illumination of this realm. It shall be so, under the condition that the war god, King Alëxios, will also contribute to this effort. In other words, both his seed and her womb shall be anointed with the essence of The Moon’s children. Henceforth, the 3rd Season of Judgement shall be rendered. This proclamation shall place all of Phëläniciä as the dominant race within the realm,” ‘Yù tù’ proclaimed.

~Ch. 27, The Realm Beyond the Stars and Sea~

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