Alëxios walked alone on the Phëläniciän beach under a cloudy dark-blue sky. The Moon kept herself hidden from him, and his royal subjects followed suit. His somber mood had the entire realm on edge as they wondered whether Malaykah would truly become the surrogate mother of The Moon’s children. This maneuver guaranteed Phëläniciä would garner realm dominance. All the other races of creatures prepared their respective kingdoms for a showdown to settle the matter for once and for all.

Byakko flew overhead and landed mere paces behind the king. He did not speak but patiently waited for Alëxios to acknowledge him. After a few steps, they both stopped in their tracks.

“Am I a mad god, unable to control my wrath?” he questioned Byakko with a nod.

“You have acted in accordance with laws established by The Ultimate Creator, Chrëst, and disciplined yourself to tame your emotions. This success is well known by all, even Queen Malaykah,” Byakko responded.

“Then why does she not trust me to keep myself from ruin? I confessed that I shall always become overwhelmed with erratic thoughts whenever she is unwell, yet I still managed not to destroy the realm on the occasions that I had access to her mind,” said Alëxios.

Byakko sighed and answered with great care, “This is not a matter of trust. The two of you are at odds against each other’s true nature. Your nature and reputation as a god of war can terrify anyone. But, then, there is also your desire to help and protect maidens in distress. Queen Malaykah’s nature as a nurturer is akin to that of a protector. Yet, she is not a maiden in need of rescue. Upon her next return to the realm, there should be an effort to learn how to rely upon each other. As a couple, you shall be the bridge between strengths and weaknesses.”

Alëxios signaled for them to continue their walk.

“Malaykah is not only my Queen but also my divine soulmate. We are bound for eternity. Though she has not yet relinquished her role in the human realm, I am certain she desires to dwell within the realm with me. Therefore, I shall continually strive to protect her, regardless of whether she is to produce my heir.”

“Is that to say the anointing to bless your seed and her womb did not take effect?’ Byakko asked in confusion.

“It is far too early to know. My stance shall remain, either way. If she is to be ostracized for her humanity or inability to reproduce The Moon’s children, I shall gladly renounce my throne. The furthest ends of the realm beckon for me to take her and dwell in peace,” Alëxios replied.

Byakko halted his steps and signaled for Alëxios to mount his back.

“Your Majesty, I am not without understanding of your mindset. However, before you result to drastic measures, hear me out. I believe to have a better solution for this dilemma,” he retorted as they took flight.

Malaykah’s return to the human realm did not happen expectantly as it occurred in the past. When she woke up, she was not in her home or in the hospital. On the night she lay in the bathtub to treat her excruciating body aches, her transition to Phëläniciä stemmed from a stroke. She had been hospitalized for six months before her family had her assigned to a physical therapy facility. Once her brain returned to full functions, countless hours were spent retraining her on how to eat, walk, and speak.

Malaykah took her time and worked to reemerge herself back into the human realm. Her emotions fluctuated from extreme highs to debilitating lows. In her less manic moments, depression swung to anxiety. Restless nights kept her exhausted. Her daily battles with apathy made it nearly impossible to move forward.

Out of the depths of her despair, Malaykah found a small spark, which propelled her to fight back to a state of restored health. She began to appreciate her life and no longer wanted to waste any of it. J’aime and her children took turns with their watchful eyes on her progress. She kept her job in the accounting department but retired from being a dance instructor. The stroke had taken a physical toll on her body, and during her recovery, her hair turned completely white.

Malaykah’s memories of the realm and Phëläniciä soon became distant daydreams. It was her fervent wish to return to the human realm during her time in the Tri-cities cavern that kept her away for more than nine years. Though her request had been delayed, it had not been denied. She dared not to mention anything to her family. After all, she doubted anyone would believe that she had the ability to travel to an alternate world.

Life began to happen at an even pace. Malaykah watched Shannon and Alejandro finally tie the knot before their third daughter was born. Roy joined an international task force as a translator, and Roxy decided to study art abroad. Even J’aime took a promotion in accounting to work alongside her best friend.

~Ch. 28, The Realm Beyond the Stars and Sea~

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