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Prequel: The Annexation

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Lalosumire Saphia Mizaria

Prequel: The Annexation

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10:35pm

Keli'i dropped the barbells. Enough for the today, he thought, as he headed to the locker room and grabbed a towel. With a brief glance at his cell phone, he watched the blinking red light glow. "15 new messages. 16 missed calls." Damn it... He opened the phone. 15 out of 16 calls was from his ex-girlfriend Mari- and after each one was a message.

The 16th call was from Sileia, a girl he was trying to know better. She called, but left no message. But then again, his invoice box was full.

"How many times, Mari?" He muttered as he shut the phone off. "I'm not interested anymore." He shoved the phone back into the locker and stepped inside of the shower. Hot, thin streams of water tickled his body and he closed his eyes, relaxing.

I need to get away....far away...

A gust of wind shot underneath her nostrils, causing mucus to drip onto her upper lip. Her green eyes gazed upon the small harbor that her boat would sail into.

"No grand entrance?" Arialei asked. "You have indeed changed, Silluna."

"There is no need for regalia if I am to be undercover. Besides, someone might try to assassinate me." She replied hastily as she took out a cloth to wipe her nose. Still traumatized over last month's events when the so-called ruler Tzat had gotten caught in a booby trap intended for her, Silluna decided that it was time to settle the "Mystic question". Previous rulers sought annexation, but were too preoccupied with gaining territory on the Southern Continent. Now that she had come to power, her people were becoming terrified of the Mystic people, as some were migrating onto the continent and were hostile to the natives. Her cousins- a laundry list of them- vowed for annexation while others promised war to subdue the natives. But the monarch herself remained neutral on the issue and that was grounds for assassination.

They don't think I'm strong enough to put in an order for annexation or declare war. Did they easily forget the terms of the treaty?

The treaty signed between the her great-grandfather and the chief of the Mystic Islands stated that neither side would force aggression on each other. Each had a power that could match the others' and millions of lives would be decimated if war occurred. A simple nonaggression treaty became interpreted as a trade agreement for others and the business merchants from the Imperial capital came and set up shop. The Mystics, particularly of Manista Island, were not pleased and wrote grievances to the royal family, who mocked them continuously. Silluna was more sympathetic and demanded an investigation, but none came. So the assassination led to a "vacation" to the Mystic Islands to settle the problem.

Sweet, bitter paradise..

He waited patiently as the double-hulled boat sailed closer to shore. The red and yellow feather cloak weighed as heavily on his shoulders as the burden of escorting and entertaining the Empress of Kunona on her vacation. The day her letter arrived, he opened it, hoping for positive news- but instead surprised by her prompt visit to the islands.

"To the High Chief Gevurah of Manista Island:
It has occurred to me that the treaty our ancestors signed ago no longer is valid, as parties have violated the terms. I am arriving to your island to draw a new treaty that will provide equal freedom and protection to both my empire and your chiefdom. Please find me a suitable place for my accommodations as it may take months to agree on a new treaty. Keep my presence to maximum of 10 persons.

With Sincerity,
Queen Silluna Nistele Li'ana Denasi
Royal Empire of Kunona"


He held the flower garlands in his right hand, hoping that 7 was enough for the fanciful, spoiled princess he met when she was a young child. He should be fearing her, for the news told of nothing but her military conquests on the southern continent and the discovery of the Eastern continent. More importantly, the envoys sent to the Empire told stories of a silver-haired woman with "over-flowing, abundant power" who mesmerized all in his presence.
But he wasn't. He couldn't be. He was Gevurah, the Great High Chief of Manista, destined to bring prosperity and hope to his people.

As the boat docked into the harbor, a bridge lapsed down and two figures tediously walked off the boat and onto the pier.

One woman, suntan skin, reddish auburn hair, pear-shaped body, dressed in green and holding a staff. The High Priestess of the Minalia Sect, as noted by the golden crest symbol around her waist.

The second woman, mahogany skin, sparkling silver hair, hour-glass figure, in a light turquoise dress and adorned with silver jewelry.

"Halt for-" Arialei started as Silluna put up her hand.

"No need for formalities, Ari." She whispered as the bright green eyes scanned his figure. "We are of equal rank, and dearest friends."

Despite the feather cloak, the pigskin loin cloth, the green leaves around his waist,ankles and wrists, and the shell necklace, he was naked.
And she was naked as well.

Only the spirits forced his body to approach her and put the seven leis over her head and around her neck.

"For Her Majesty, the Queen of the Kunona Empire. Welcome to my island." He stated clearly. After the last one was around her neck, he hugged her in a warm embrace and smelled her. The fragrance was too strong, her power was overwhelming-all he wanted to do was pin her to ground and have his way with her. He wanted to hear her kick, scream, moan, gasp, and whimper underneath his body. Her- he wanted her for himself and no one else.

Snap out of it! You've got a wife and kid!

"Hey bruddah, how long you plan on stayin' in da shower?"

Keli'i popped his eyes open. Three other guys were standing outside, waiting to get inside the shower. He shook his head and quickly washed off. Putting his clothes on, he walked outside and jumped into his Jeep.

"Where was I?" He stated out loud. "Who...was she?" He drove out of the parking lot and out of the city, up the mountain into the valley. He shook his head. He wasn't ready to go home yet. He turned around and went to the RoundTop Lookout and looked down on the Honolulu skyline.

Let me go back...


"You won't be attending the lu'au?" The meek village boy asked through the door.

"No. I am rather tired and plan on resting. Run along and tell the chief." Silluna replied as the pitter-patter of sandals led back to the village.

"Really now, Silluna, don't be such a party pooper." Arialei's voice called from her own chambers. Silluna chuckled.

"Who said that I was a party pooper?" Arialei peaked her head into Silluna's room and smirked.

Her hair was in long, thick black dreadlocks that reached her thick waist. She wore a green polycotton cloth that covered her bust to just above her knees. With a pen, she carefully hennaed her arms, chest, and legs.

"The Mystic people-the Manisti- are scornful of the Empress of Kunona." Silluna started as her hands wove the grass head garland. "I am anxious to hear their words. To do so, I must disguise myself as one of them. Fancy playing along?"

"You are indeed a clever ruler. Of course." Arialei replied as her skin color darkened to a deep bronze and her hair became full, thick and frizzy. "But why for the henna? It might give you away!"

"It is common in the Mystic Islands to have body decorations. Look carefully, Ari. They are not the typical henna tattoos back home. I have made them in resemblance of THEIR tattoos and their beliefs." With the last leaf strung, Silluna bit the string and placed the garland on her forehead. Then she pulled the Royal Denasi stone off of her head and turned it into a ring.

"This will be the only indication of my true identity." She whispered.


She wasn't coming!

He was angry. Burning, furious mad. He had his servants prepare the best food- over 500 pigs slaughtered, the freshest fruit picked, the biggest fish prepared perfectly, and she wasn't coming. He had even made the farmers gather additional kalo for the poi- a delicacy only he and his family enjoy- just for this occasion. He had invited everyone from all over the Mystic Islands- Manista, Keviatta and Nariya- to come. And now the most important guest of all- the Empress- wasn't coming.

What was a chief to do?

As the guests arrived in groups and sat down at their tables (women on one side, men on the other), a hushing silence fell as all eyes turned to the front. He had to give some kind of a speech, different than the one he intended.

"My fellow, honorable people, I hold this feast today because it marks the beginning of a new era. An era of rapid change seen in front of our eyes."
There were several yawns. This wasn't the speech he wanted to give.
"I know your pain, my people. People from a certain Empire come asking for mercy and we give it to them, only to find out they want our precious land and resources. Greedy merchants set up their shops where farms exists, houses where fishes swam. The land and water can only yield this kind of behavior for oh so long before collapsing. I am sure you are all wondering- when will the collapse happen?

I have written of our grievances over and over to the Empress of Kunona, begging for her to stop the treachery before the balance is significantly altered. She ignored my letters, demanding that nothing would be done until a formal investigation. I ask of you, my people, is there a need for an investigation if our people are starving? If our children are leaving us without the knowledge passed from our ancestors? If their way of life overcomes ours?

It does not!" At this the crowd roared; men growled and huffed while the women hooted and shrilled.

"It does not require a special investigation! It is merely her buying the time before she formally annexes our homelands to her wasteful Empire! I have continuously campaigned for complete sovereignty, for no treaty and she has refused to reply! She follows under the shadow of her cousins who openly speak of annexation, but ultimately it is HER decision!"

"Her decision!" The crowd echoed.

"And alas, it is time to tell the real reason for this feast. I personally invited the Empress of Kunona to stay on the island for a week to discuss our treaty." Silence blanketed the tables again. "And to our blessing, she did arrive." Several women gasped in shock. "I held this feast to welcome her, but as the elitist aristocrat she is, she has refused." Quickly the women began to shake their heads and mutter. "But with this feast, I, the High Chief of Manista declare this- there WILL no longer be a treaty, we WILL not stand to be squashed underneath their Empire, we WILL become a prosperous nation, as our ancestors had intended it to BE!"

The crowd screamed and roared again, with the men pounding their fists on the table and women cat-calling until their voices gave way. Silence fell a third time.

"So eat and drink, my people, as from this day forward we must fight our guest- mind, spirit, soul, in order to regain our freedom." He sat down as the chanter stood up and blessed the food before the feast began.

"My dear, I've never heard you use that voice..." His wife, Marilyle whispered in his ear, "The prophecies will come true then..."

---------

Several rows away from the High Chief, two strange-looking but Mystic women cautiously ate their overflowing plate.

>Ah, as expected. There is more to what is going on in these islands than what Sarnith and Tesil told me<
>> Indeed, Your Majesty. Messing up their society- that is a bit extreme, don't you think?<<
>Yes, Indeed, Ari. Did you not hear the words of the women around here?<
>>I did, Majesty. They were not very pleasant.<<
>I have dealt with worse<
>>In ANY case, how are you to carry out your investigation now?<<
>As before, but with more caution. We keep this disguise until we find something against the law. Then we switch to our royal forms.<
>>It may exhaust our magic<<
>It is what is necessary to complete the investigation.<
>>Do tell, at this moment, how are you leaning?<<

Silluna glared at Arialei with a snarl on her face. Arialei's eyes opened in surprise.
>>No need to get haughty, your Majesty! If you are still undecided, that is perfectly normal. Just let me know when you have made up your mind.<<

"Hey, you two girls, why you no eat the pig, uh?" One of the women pointed to the heap of pulled pork on both of their plates. Subconsciously, they avoided the pig, although they knew they had to eat it in order to maintain the disguise.

"Hehe.." Silluna chuckled as she hastily answered in Manisti, "Saving the best for last." Her voice and presence was drowned out when a figure walked by the tables.

>>Him<<

>Let's let him know we've heard every single word of his speech.< Just as the High Chief walked behind her, Silluna grabbed a handful of pork with her left hand. Tilting her head back, she playfully shoved the pork into her mouth, but with enough visual coverage of her turquoise ring. She watched as the jovial expression on the High Chief's face melted into pure shock. He quickly walked back to his seat, then rushed out of the feast.


She WAS here! And she heard everything!



A flame of fury flared inside of his entire body, only to be cooled down by a waterfall of fear. Every single word he uttered, she listened quietly. Every vow he promised, she sat through- did she chuckle to herself thinking that it would be impossible? He couldn't believe that she snuck into the feast disguised as one of his own- then to publicly embarrass him by eating the pig while showing off her royal crest!

"No point in avoiding her.." He grunted as he headed out to her hut. Before he even approached the steps, there she stood with her arms crossed in formal Kunona attire.

"So," She whispered in Manisti, "No treaty?"

There was nothing but silence.

"No treaty that would violate the inherit rights of my people." He replied back in Manisti. She chuckled.

"Aye. Aye! You put on a brilliant performance tonight! The next great chief indeed!"
Her eyes scanned his body up and down. "A shame that I am not Manisti."

He gulped.

"An even worser shame that I am the direct enemy of your people! And an enemy amongst my own people!"

An enemy of her own people? He thought What kind of ruler is she that her own people would turn against her?

"Oh, my people- that haven't had a female ruler in centuries. As soon as the Queen was selected, she was instantly married- a mere tool in the royal tree. I am the first to be Queen without marriage AND to go on military conquests. They are desperate to marry me off and let a man take over."

Her people were right in marrying a Queen off- He agreed with that. No woman should have to endure the toil and blood of war.

"And right now, all the suitors for me want to simply annex your Islands. Now that isn't too popular for your people, isn't it?" He was impressed by her Manisti- so clear and fluid without any pauses. "So I am refusing marriage, and that is making the royal family angry and they so DESPERATELY want to assassinate me. The latest attempt put a visiting ruler out for nearly a week."

Chills danced on his bare skin. The rumors were true- the Queen was not entirely keen on annexing the islands- the annexation was the propaganda of other members of the royal family.

"So I'm asking you of a favor, dear Chief. You are to say that I am staying in my estate for the entire stay and that you will visit daily to discuss your problems. I will be conducting the investigation of your islands dressed as I did last night- like I am one of you. I will go to every Kunona settlement on your islands and see how they are treating your people. If they are abusing your people, then I will change into this attire and prosecute them under MY jurisdiction. Is that fair?"

He nodded slowly. It was all he could do. She was investigate, as promised in earlier letters. He was frustrated at her slow timing- only waiting until she was nearly assassinated- but pleased that she came.

However, deep down inside there was still that powerful desire to control her- to make her Manisti. He admitted that at the dinner she was a beautiful, exquisite Manisti woman in her attire- beautifully tattooed with the symbols of luck and prosperity.

"You are dismissed." She cursedly replied in the global converse tongue. He hesitated.

Not now! She'll hate you forever!

"Sir-" The police man tapped on the window as Keli'i jumped. "Lookout is closed at this time of night." With a grumble, Keli'i put the Jeep into gear and drove around Tantalus until he could find a place to park his car- he wasn't in the mood to go home yet.

Not when the dream is this real...

E Ku'u Aloha,
E Kipa Mai,
Aloha Kaua,
Aloha No Au Ia Oe
Nou No Ka 'I'ini
Nau ko'u aloha
Na'u 'oe
No Kau a Kau




Eyati City, Manista

"To think of such a settlement on dry land!" Arialei coughed as dust kicked up into their nostrils. In the plains of Manista, dense towns had propped up with wood and stone buildings huddled up to one another. After being in the valley for several days, the change in atmosphere had swiftly reminded both women of their mission to investigate the islands.

"Kind of reminds of them of their homeland." Silluna whispered, quietly observing the settlement. Men and women were not dressed in Mystic attire, but in merchant Kunona attire- thin beige and white tunics for the men, while the women wore colorful silks and adorned in the gaudiest gems and stone. The words exchanged between the two was not of any Mystic language, but of either of Global Converse or street Kunonan.

"They have not even made the effort of learning the language." She muttered, wrinkling her nose in disgust. Dressed in the Manisti attire of thick, cotton cloth, wooden sandals and flower garlands, she stood out more in this bustling town than she did amongst the Manisti people.

"Hey...you two ladies lookin' for work?" A husky guy heaved in rough Manisti. He was outfitted in the trendiest Imperial fashion- with golden rings on his fingers.

"No. We are just walking around." Silluna replied in proper Manisti. The man guffawed.

"Don't be so shy- pretty girls like yerself don't come to this town just looking around." He began to encircle both of the women, but his eye was on Silluna. "You come cuz your backwards family kicked you out of your house for doing something naughty and you need work...and I can give ya that." With a snort, he brushed his hand along Silluna's back and lightly patted her behind. Arialei's eyes flared.

"You!!" She yelled as her skin lightened and hair brightened to a ruby red. The orange-yellow cloth over her body changed to the embroidered white priestess robes with the golden crest around her waist and neck. From beneath her robe, she pulled out her staff and placed it between Silluna and the man's body.

"A-a-"The man stammered as he observed Arialei's clothing. "A--a-a-a Minalia High Priestess?!?!?!" He took several steps back as he looked at Silluna, who had not changed into her true identity. "Then-then-then what are you?"

"Would you really like to know?" Silluna hissed in proper Kunonan. Trendils of magic whirled out of her fingertips and created an aura around her body. The man began to stumble as Silluna's power was distorting his sense and depth perception.

"No-no-no-I-i-I-I didn't mean to hit on you!!" He begged as Silluna and Arialei walked closer to him. He fell to his knees and began to wail.

"I-i-i-i-"

"Enough with your whining!" Silluna's voice boomed. "Look at me!" The man trembled in fear as he raised his head to meet the glowing green eyes of the Empress. Pinching his eyes, he shook his head.

"I'm sorry your Majesty, I'm sorry." He whimpered as he bowed back down. Silluna kicked up the dust to make him cough and spit repeatedly.

"Taking advantage of young, innocent girls- you KNOW the rules of THAT matter in MY country, don't you?" There was whimpering. "DON'T YOU?!?!"

"Yes-no-yes-"

"Make up your mind."

"Yes...Empress."

"And you THINK-YOU THINK you can just break the rules here?!" Silluna yelled as Arialei's staff began to bury in his back. "Hmmm?" It was awkward for anyone- Mystic or Kunonan- to see a man be humiliated by two women in the middle of the street. However, the overwhelming magic emitted from the duo indicated that these women were not ordinary girls but unique visitors.

"No-no-no-"

"Consider yourself dead." She kicked him in the head, leaving him there in the streets to suffer from the humiliation and degradation of a woman who had the ability to alter time and space. He could never go back home to his family- they knew what he had done- and he could no longer live in the Mystic Islands- his crime and punishment would be the talk of the islands everywhere. There was only one thing for him to do- and as soon as night would fall, he would do it. It was his fault for deviating and letting his lust rule his reason.

"It's that building." A passerby muttered in mangled Manisti to Silluna. The building appeared desolate and abandoned in comparison to the ones nearby. The door was the most sturdy piece of the structure- everything else appeared to be caved in. With a slight push, the door creaked open and women shrieked.

"If you have any honor left in you, you will go straight to the docks." Silluna announced in the most formal Kunonan. "If there is no honor, may you go to a place that does not value it." With a shuffle, a group of men exited the building with a delirious look on their faces. Stepping inside, Arialei raised her staff to summon light and shock covered their faces.

Girls half of their age were lying on the floor naked or the smallest bits of cloth around their body. They were dirty and unclean, and the place reaked of a man's scent.

"Is there a place for you girls to clean yourself?" Silluna whispered in Manisti. One girl stood up and pointed towards the back.

"There's a washroom in the back but that's for-"

"He is dead." Silluna replied. "It is for you girls now."

"Moth-" One girl whispered as she reached her hand out to Silluna. Silluna grabbed her hand and pulled the girl close to her body.

"It's okay." Silluna whispered as she rubbed the girl's back. The girl sobbed into Silluna's chest with fear and agony. She turned to Arialei. "There should be multiple baths in that room now. Make sure that all the girls have bathed and are properly dressed. Arialei nodded.

"So this...is what he meant." Silluna whispered. "A blasphemy."

No more of those wretched houses?

Within 4 days, word had reached to Gevurah that the 'brothels' ran in Etayi Town had been eradicated and cleaned out. The girls had been bathed and clothed into traditional attire and sent to the pu'uhonua to be cleansed of any and all of their sins. The owners and the clientele had mysteriously disappeared off the island never to be heard from again.

He wanted to thank her. Thank her for rescuing those he felt could not be rescued. Giving people a 2nd chance to start over.
He just didn't know HOW to thank her without going too far.



Another evening, another feast. This time, it was smaller, only the residents on Manista were invited. She was invited as well, but "refused" due to an illness. He had anticipated a response, but prepared a pleasant surprise for her.

The stage had been set for everyone to see. He asked the members of an elite halau to perform the fertility dance so that he could have a son. Word spread like rapid fire and Marilyle was blushing ever so deeply at the night that might await her.

I am sorry, my wife. This dance is not intended for you. He thought. It was intended for the Empress, whom he knew was in the audience, steadily eating away.

"That queen, she think she so high maka-maka that she cannot even attend one feast!"
"I heard she kinda chicken-skinned of the chief."
"Oh really?"
"Yeah, every time the chief see her, he comes back really angry."
"I'd be scared too if the chief get angry at me."

A chant killed the conversation. Everyone looked to the stage as five young men dressed in a blue and gold loincloth walked on stage. Then, striding to the front, in a red and gold loincloth was the High Chief himself. He, like the other men, wore grass around his ankles, wrist, and crown of his head.

Oh grant us the ability to pass on our genes! They cried in the most ancient of Manisti. They stomped, kicked and twirled onstage.

"Conjuring up Kami's blessing.." Silluna whispered as she kept her eyes fixated on the group. She began to see the aura seep from the ground and dance in the sky before encircling Gevurah.

A pause. Another chant. A pair of black eyes met the dark brown ones.
Ensnarement.

She trembled as his hips went around in a circle, slowly descending to the ground.

I'll take you to the ground..

With one leg tucked in, the other kicked out in slow movements.

I'll start out slow, making you comfortable.

From side to side he repeated the movement four times until he slowly lifted the leg and kicked it faster.

Then I'll go faster, because I know you'll love it that way.

Then with one leg planted on the ground, he kicked even faster, quick and agile with passion.

I'll take it faster and harder and deeper because you deserve it and you can't stop me.

Back on his knees, he gathered more of kami's blessing before gyrating his hips again. Unlike the other members of the halau that continuously looked up and down, he kept his eyes focused on her.

I'll pleasure you as much as you can handle and even further.

The tempo picked up, his hips moved faster, his hands drew in more energy.
Her eyes were growing heavy with lust. She bit her lip. As the women around her screamed and catcalled at the men, her body flared with passion- the nipples rose beyond the usual perkiness, her skin got slick and wet like the place in between her thighs.

I'll take you for my own and you'll have no one else but me!
Her hands rubbed the side of her face, down to her neck and across her chest. She opened her mouth and let out a soft moan as the tempo went even faster, the hips gyrating more and the screams getting louder.

Arialei could not stop the phenomenon from happening. The energy that Gevurah had summoned was being used to please and torture the Empress in public.

Tears slid down her cheeks as her own hips moved to the beat of the drum. Her hands now slid to the front of her bosom and vigorously rubbed the stiff nipples until it was sore to the touch. Her legs bicycled as the insides quivered and clutched onto nothing but air-full of Mystic energy.

She whimpered as her body writhed in pleasure. She had never felt this pleasured in her entire life- none of her lovers had ever put her to this point. She did not want to stop, but could not prevent the climax claiming down inside of her wetness nor all over her body.

With a last drumbeat, the final roll approached and Silluna let out a long moan.
"Nooooooooo........."
It caught the attention of the women around her. Shocked, Arialei tried to snap Silluna out of her daze.

"You've got to stop, you've got to stop! Everyone is looking!" She hissed, but it was far too late. Silluna's body bucked in pleasure as she climaxed at the feast. Minutes passed before the heat passed her body. She shook her head.

"That was..." She started as one of the women tapped her on the body.

"Sista! You like that kind of man, eh?" She stated. "Gives you chicken skin, eh?"

Silluna was paralyzed. She had just masturbated in public- at a fancy dinner no less! And now everyone would recognize her as the one who got off on sacred dances.

Meanwhile, off the stage, Gevurah was very pleased. The Empress got the message loud and clear- these were his lands, and she was to obey his every word.



Her body shook with anger. Her fists were clenched, the nails pressing into the soft skin. She was insulted- to the point where all the women were talking about the girl who had responded so passionately to the dance.

And more importantly, he had seen her do it in front of his own eyes.

"You should have looked away when he put the spell on you." Arialei scolded as Silluna stomped around in the hut. "All the energy he conjured up- he aimed it right at you."

"And you DIDN'T even BOTHER to stop the transfer of power?!?!" She yelled as she knocked over a cup.

"It was rather strong, your Majesty." She curtly replied. "And he had you in an eye lock. If I had pulled away, serious mental damage might have occurred."

Instead you let me pleasure myself in public, much to the bewilderment of the people surrounding me.

"I'll...never!" She yelled out in frustration, kicking a table. "I have the tenacity right here and NOW to annex these islands-"

"Your Majesty-"

"Make them all second class citizens- denying them the right to vote or any kind of independent government-"

"I beg of you-"

"Mock their culture, destroy their societies, and put in fancy rich estates all over their lands! Screw the 'amnesty' ordeal I originally planned! If they're going to HUMILIATE me in PUBLIC after ALL of the work I've done for them, then they deserve no better than that!"

With a final swing to the plates on a bigger table, Silluna marched into her room and shut the door. Arialei shook her head as she looked at the mess.

"Please forgive Her Majesty, High Chief. She goes into temper tantrums when she feels her power has been undermined."

On the outside, he smiled with a gentle patience that only a chief of his standing could exert. After treating his wife to an exhausting rump, he quietly snuck out of his house and here to hers, hoping to apologize.

Apologize? Who am I kidding? She was the one who climaxed at the feast!
He witnessed the fiery of the Empress as he overheard spit the words he should fear. The words were not true, he surmised, only spoken out of pure emotion. None the less, he came to offer his sympathy and hopefully clear more air between the two of them.

If only the Priestess wasn't here....

Sunlight peeped in Keli'i's eyes. Had he spent another night away from his nosy home?
Looking down at his fully clothed body, a resounding yes thundered in his head.

"Aislin.." He muttered as he looked around. He wasn't far from his house in Tantalus- only a few hundred meters. But it was far enough where people- his folks- might worry about him and quiet enough for neighbors not to notice he was nearby. He could not count the number of times he had brought women of all shapes, ages, and sizes up here to make out with them-only to be dumped months later for not being 'considerate enough'.

"Where is the love these days?" He asked, looking blankly at the sky. The tradewinds slipped inside of his Jeep and coated his exposure skin- his hair stood up from the chilly air.

"Aislin, Aislin, Aislin," He muttered. He could not get his tongue off of the word. Sileia had mentioned it just once- she said it was a kind of "dream world" she created in her mind. But how could a made-up world feel so real?

*Ah, now you're getting it*

Keli'i jumped. "Who-who-who's there?"

*In your mind, lolo*

"My-my mind?!?!"

*You want the truth, or do you just want to keep dreaming?*

"Dreaming..."He started, then closed his eyes and a pair of black eyes were staring at him. Alarmed, he reopened them.

*You seriously want to keep dreaming, man? I've almost got a permanent connection to your spirit*

"Who. are you." He eeked out slowly.

*You KNOW who I am. Don't act stupid- I've been with you since long time, brah. I just woke up inside of you three years ago.*

Three years. When he had first met Sileia, but still dating Mari. After one- and only one- date with Sileia, his entire world perspective changed. He started becoming more concerned about his family, his culture, his people- everything. He didn't want to go out partying every night, just for Mari to get jealous because he was talking to another girl. He started to prefer nights in, watching movies and talking about life and politics in general. He went to the gym every night, he stopped smoking weed and drinking so much.

It was like his mind had caught up with his true biological age.

But it was something more.Although he had taken good care of his daughter, he missed on having a complete family life- one with a loving wife and mother and several more kids in a cozy home.

All those years wasted on being youthful and playful, repeatedly getting his heart broken over and over. He was sick and tired of it, and wanted a different kind of relationship.

So ended the relationship with Mari. She called often- too often. Cluttering his voicemail inbox, sending countless text messages. Wanting to get back with him, promising to change into a more mature woman- one who would be a good mother figure. He teetered back and forth- take her back or keep her away...

Then Sileia reappeared with a gentle air but sharp mind. She had matured from a shy college girl into a professional businesswoman who was determined to make her mark in the Islands. But that wasn't what drew him to her, no-

*She's known me long time. Longer than you've known me*

"Stop-stop-"

*Come on, brah, I'm trying to make this easy on you, since you're over the hill.*

Rub it in, why don't you?
*We can talk inside of here if that's good with you.*

You're not going away, are you?

*Nope, now listen to me, why don't you?
As I stated before, you already know who I am.
And yes, Aislin is very real.
There are people in this world- the "Otherworld" who have
stronger ties to Aislin than others.
Purposedly speaking, the RULERS.
Silluna- Sileia to YOU is one of those people.
She's actually known me since connecting to Silluna-
Which led her straight to you.
Now she's free to leave while I'm with you*


"What do you WANT with ME?" Keli'i yelled out loud. "I have my own life-"

*Oh, nothing really except well-the royal thrones may be in trouble again*

"The WHAT?" Keli'i shook his head. "Forget it, I'm not interested."

*Have it your way. Keep dreaming*

Keep dreaming, hmph! I got a life to live here too..





She was serious. The next day, a formal declaration was sent to his hut as well as to every one of the Council and the Elders.

"She makes her decisions off of her emotions." He tried to explain to his wife. "Is it wise of her to rule like this?"

"Of course it isn't, that is why the men are given our power to rule." She replied. "She needs to be married. Something is forcing her to take action."

There was a stark sadness inside of his heart. He knew he could fight- everyone in Manista was prepared to take on the Queen and her military. But he sensed- felt intense dread at the outcome. There were death- heaps and heaps of bodies piled a top one another as both sides would experience massive losses. Whomever won would only stay in power for only a short time as the entire society might collapse.

Was it worth the price of freedom?

"It eventually would happen." Silluna stated. "Another tyrant from Dierdre."
Arialei shuddered. It was not the response she was expecting.

"The Mystic Islands need to be protected- it is a sanctuary from the Otherworld. Not even Kunona itself is safe from the Otherworld meddlings. I sense that this tyrant will go even further than Maximus or Morthue."

"And annexation-"

"Will keep them aware of what is going on. Think of it, Arialei. Save for Gevurah and Marilyle, who else from these islands knew about the crisis on the Northern Continent? No one. They are oblivious to the portals- there is a hidden one here on this very island! How long are we going to keep them in the dark? Until a Dierdran tyrant washes ashore and strips them of their power and murders them all cold? I shall not stand for that."

"....That is the real reason for your annexation." Arialei whispered. "Understandable, your Majesty. But doesn't HE deserve the truth?"

She was silent. Of course he deserved the truth. He deserved the entire story. About the Otherworld, the Great War, everything- but she didn't want to worry him so she kept her mouth shut.

Inside of her soul stirred a conscious to do something radical, something off note.

"I wish I could marry him, Arialei." She declared. "Imagine the strength of both nations. It would beat down any tyrant Dierdre spits out. We would enjoy the fruits of both societies- each with its own laws respected by the other. We would be...invincible.

"Oh! He is exactly what I would want in a king, Ari!" She exclaimed as she held her hands out. "He is caring, thoughtful and strong- he is considerate, emotional and calm. Can you not feel the essence of his power when he stands before you? Do you not sense a strong presence steeped inside of his soul? He is perfect, Arialei, perfect and yet I cannot marry him!" She clasped her hands to her face.

"I cannot marry him. For he already has a wife and child, and our people hate each other. But I can dream, can't I? The perfect nation. On land and at sea. The ability to manipulate time and space mixed with the environment. The spiritual manifestations. Oh! It would be Kami's blessing to have our nations become one!"

"It is what I desire so much in my heart ever since I met him as a child. I wanted him...to be my king. To have my power. To become one with me. THAT is what I wished for my entire life. Him. only him." She closed her eyes, letting tears slide down her cheek. "But that cannot be. I am stuck as a Queen, alone on a throne, faced with hard decisions."

Arialei remained silent. She watched as the Queen quietly sniffled, then sobbed in her reality.

>>You're listening, aren't you?<<

He was shaking. What was this Otherworld that they were speaking of? And why did she feel that the Mystic Islands needed to be protected from it? A hidden portal? Where was it on this island?

And she wanted to MARRY HIM?

Polygamy is permitted in both societies-

>>Not for the monarchy. It is monogamous due to the Queen's power.<<

What is this Otherworld?

>>I wish I could tell you, but my lips and mind are sealed.<<

"I'm. Not. A. Baby. We. Are. Not. Weak." He grunted as he clenched his fists.

______


So here I am. Talking to you. What happened after the-

*A massive war broke out on the Northern Continent. The ruler, Eyvind pushed past Wardred and Creposcle and out to sea. He headed south to Kunona and west to the Western Continent. He hasn't found our islands yet.*

And the Queen? Is she fighting him?

*The Queen, along with the other unmarried monarchs fled to this world again. Since the first War, some of the monarchs married and are unable to fully come to the Otherworld. The single, unmarried ones- Tzat, Sorcerie, Denasi, Minalia- all hid again. Their people are either in other dimensions or fighting it out with his army.

*He is searching for us, I do know. Everyone is scared of the day that he will come. My people are looking to me for a direction.*

And all you've done is come here.

*I can't fight this on my own, and neither can you. We've got to get their help as well- Her Majesties Tzat, Sorcerie, and Denasi as well as Her Sacredness Minalia. There are other rulers as well who might have come into the Otherworld. We will need their help.*

What are you asking of me?

*To let me inside of you.
To let Aislin reclaim its glory again*



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