Malaykah could not think clearly about what measures she could take to end the standoff. Instead, she kept Känëbräl in her peripheral view while she scanned the room for any kind of item that could be used as a weapon. It made her feel powerless that she was no longer in a position to help the one maiden that she once was able to save from their fall into the ocean during the siege.
Bässäm called her attention back to him as he held the knife closer to Känëbräl’s carotid artery. Känëbräl screamed, and Malaykah humbly sat in the chair across from them.
“Why are you doing this? What do you want from me?” Malaykah sighed
Bässäm’s eerie cackle sent shivers throughout the room.
“That was rude of me. Let me be honest with you both,” he said as he placed the knife on the table. “I am doing what has to be done to make amends for a terrible error made in the kingdom of Phëläniciä. I want to undo all the wrongdoings that have afflicted my dear sweet Sӧlitha. She did not deserve any of the cruel mistreatment she received from Lady Rüvym, King Alëxios, or any of the other citizens,” he answered.
Malaykah flexed her brow and became fired up all over again.
“What in the hell are you talking about? As far as I’ve seen, she’s been treated like someone with the title and status of a princess. The only bad thing worth noting is her scheme to proposition herself like a whore at the king did not end well,” she replied.
Bässäm’s reaction mirrored Malaykah’s wrath.
“Silence. Do not dare speak of her as if you know her pain.” He took the knife and stabbed it into the table. “I do not expect the likes of someone of your stature to understand the intricate details of such a delicate situation. But, in truth, I am here on her behalf. I want nothing from either of you except your assistance with a resolution.”
Malaykah patiently paused to calm her nerves. She did not want to agitate Bässäm since his hand was still on the knife.
“What do you propose as a resolution?” she asked.
Bässäm perked up at her willingness to hear him out.
“We need to take the ship to the Tri-cities. I do not know where, but I heard tell that somewhere within the territory is the Őrb. However, before we go there, we first need to seek the counsel of the oracle banshee known as Mäüdräh,” he answered.
Malaykah gasped. “Mäüdräh! Why would you want to involve her when she is known to craft trickery instead of really helping?”
Bässäm grinned, “That is where you come into play, my dear Queen. We are less likely to encounter fallible intel if you ask her where the Őrb is located.”
Känëbräl’s fear lessened and she mockingly laughed at Bässäm.
“Surely you jest, foolish old eunuch. Do you really believe Queen Malaykah would stoop as low as to help your feeble attempt to overthrow her king and husband? Your time has run out, and your stay in the palace is over, just as mine. So why ruin any possible future of favor for a delusional fantasy that will not come to pass,” she said.
The enraged Bässäm sliced the She-wolf’s throat and shoved her dead body out of the wooden chair. He sat in her place and looked at Malaykah.
“Now that that matter is settled, we should not dally on our next plans,” he sighed.
Malaykah bellowed out a war cry without a thought, then hopped up and ran across the table. She put one hand over his mouth and repeatedly punched him in the left eye. Four rings on her fingers broke the skin that surrounded his eye socket.
In retaliation, Bässäm stood to grip her by the shoulders. He flipped her on her back. He planted his large body on top of her so that she could no longer struggle.
“I will need you in one piece, my pretty,” he sneered before he kissed her and forced his tongue inside her mouth.
Malaykah could not breathe from being pinned with such heavy weight, nor could she move. The only maneuver she had left was to bite his tongue as hard as she could.
Meikko and Trëgӧürnë heard the scuffle from above and frantically began to search for the Queen.
~Ch. 23, The Realm Beyond the Stars and Sea~