Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
The Retribution of Жар-пти́ця …
Once Вячеслав is confident that his beloved Delma is safe on the other side of the fire barrier—he leads the vicious onslaught. There are pathetic screams as he, assisted by the others, Бруна, Эхуань, and Чика first rip through the stomachs of their adversaries, then crush the beating hearts, which releases their immortal souls.
Like ravenous wolves, the Lehrer tear into Демон and his followers' immortal souls. There is no mercy … there is no forgiveness. There is only retribution! Жар-пти́ця herself makes certain that the circle of fire continues to fiercely burn—nothing can escape or enter the arena.
Unknown to the others, there are a pair of eyes observing the entire display. One of the renegade High Counselors, Странник looks on in horror as her comrades in arms have their souls shattered into a thousand pieces. She listens as their futile cries are ignored and Вячеслав takes sheer pleasure in systematically shredding Демон’s soul piece by piece.
When Жар-пти́ця glazes through the fire and observes Странник watching, she does not make any effort to strike her down. The renegade High Counselor bows her head in respect and then prostrates on the ground. The show of such humility and reverence pleases Жар-пти́ця and she spares her life. However, being a renegade—although a reluctant one, she is not allowed to return to Behörde nor can she be considered a part of the Lehrer. Her fate is to wander for that is her name—Странник!
With their work completed, Бруна, Эхуань, and Чика are free to return to their respective regions as Guardians while Вячеслав remains with Жар-пти́ця. The cosmic dust that remains as a result of the confrontation drifts slowly toward the night sky and begins its endless journey throughout the galaxies.
“So now we are finally done with Демон and his treachery.” Вячеслав pronounces.
“There is still the issue of Minerva.” Vlatka replies as she resumes her human-like form.
“And what of Minerva, Vlatka?” Вячеслав questions.
“She willingly allowed her essence to be directed by Демон until he had no further use for her. He discarded her like a used sponge. She must be punished.” Vlatka decides.
“Странник is here as well.” Вячеслав states in a straightforward manner.
“Leave her alone. She has always been a reluctant member of the renegades.” Vlatka observes.
“Yet you will punish Minerva?” Вячеслав challenges.
“You will question my judgment?” Vlatka cross-examines her son.
“I do not question it—I only make a comparison.” Вячеслав corrects.
“Hmm, Minerva will become a beautiful flower in the Destiny Forest. No one will be allowed to pick her because her thorns will be deadly. Those who disobey and try to free her will meet with a swift and untimely end.” Vlatka declares.
“And Странник?” Вячеслав pursues his interrogation.
“She will continue to wander. Her only crime was to love Демон.” Vlatka tells Вячеслав—he is shocked.
“Странник was in love with Демон?”
“Yes. When the Revolution started—she sided with Демон. She never actually fought. No blood was shred because of her. Nevertheless, she was one of them so she became a renegade. Her punishment—destined to roam the Царство Смертного Человека—Realm of Mortal Man!” Vlatka explains.
“Never able to settle down, love another or have a home—family. It is indeed a harsh but just punishment.” Вячеслав decides.
“Демон and the others are no more—merely cosmic dusts that floats aimlessly throughout the galaxies. Never to be able to harm anyone because there is no conscious being.” Vlatka is very satisfied with the outcome.
“There are other renegades that plague the Царство Смертного Человека.” Вячеслав retorts as he walks with his mother out of Destiny Forest.
“Megan and Ethan have their duties as Mélisande and Adimarö. Бруна, Эхуань, and Чика also have their precincts. And then there are you and Delma. The Great Northern Plains belong to the two of you.” Vlatka declares smiling.
“And my sister—Cami?” Вячеслав inquires.
“With the demise of Демон and the others, прекрасная дочь can now be restored to her former beauty.” Vlatka is happy to reveal this fact.
“And so all is well now.” Вячеслав states with satisfaction.
“For the time being—yes. There are still a number of renegade High Counselors out there. You and Delma will have to use the Oracle of Behörde to close der Riss that allows dwellers from das Äußere Reich to enter das Reich der Sterblichen.” Vlatka insists.
“We will have to do this as man and wife—right?” Вячеслав questions excitedly.
“You know that you will.” Vlatka answers back smiling. “Delma has to be properly prepared for the Eheritual. For the next few months contact between the two of you are forbidden. This will also give you both time to concentrate on your studies.” Vlatka suggests.
“So you have made up my mind for me regarding the advancement of my education?” Вячеслав laughs.
“Of course. In your form as Dr. Henry Hamilton you will be a most effective contributor to the community of Davis County. Your wife Amanda will be able to join you in an established research facility.” Vlatka explains to Вячеслав.
“Research Facilities?” Вячеслав looks at Vlatka in amazement.
“Yes. This is such a primitive place when comparing the advancements of Behörde and once with the Rift closed—there is no danger of anyone from our Äußeres Reich preying on the inhabitants of Earth.” Vlatka clarifies.
“There are still renegade High Counselors existing here.” Вячеслав reminds Vlatka.
“Therefore, it will take a knowledge of our advanced civilizational skills to effectively deal with the renegades. They will possess great powers in this world and unless we can maintain our superiority—the end results will be devastating.” Vlatka warns.
“Then we need to get back to Brampton to let everyone know things are okay for now.” Вячеслав suggests to Vlatka.
“I must return to Behörde. As Lineal of the High Counsel, I am obligated to rule and protect my people—even from themselves. There will be others who are curious regarding the Царство Смертного Человека. I must pacify their curiosity without encouraging them to venture further.” Vlatka expounds.
“Besides Cami and me, who else will be allowed to live here?” Вячеслав queries.
“Only those who are already here.” Vlatka is firm in this regard.
“Will there be a reprisal for Странник?” Вячеслав inquires. “You have stated yourself that she never participated in any actually wrongdoing other than being in love with Демон and siding with him.”
“Do you think that one day there should be?” Vlatka answers with a question of her own.
Странник is aware of the entire conversation, not having left her hiding place. She smiles—thinking that the Retribution of Жар-пти́ця may be stilled.
© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on August 14, 2020:
Alright ... keep going!
Deloris D Ketchum on August 14, 2020:
On chapter 6
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on August 13, 2020:
Cosmic Dust ... a fitting end for a would-be ruler!