“Looks like no one has been here for a millennium, Mr. Pope.” the little girl says to her silent and unmoving partner. “Where the hell could she be?” She kicks a rock in frustration. The rock travels upwards and disappears from her sight. She briefly wonders if some primitive life forms would look up to the sky from whatever planet they crawl on, saw the rock she had kicked whizzing by and interpret it as a sign that their world is ending.
She dismisses the silly thought from her head immediately. The rock could fall on her sister’s head for all she cares. Make a dent in that big stupid head. How dare that big idiot not be here to welcome her lovable younger sister! After all the lengths and steps she took in order to leave her own domain, making sure everything was in order before she went on her trip. She couldn't risk leaving her domain without any preparation, she could return and find it in shambles. All her temples could be in ruins and every single one of her worshipers scattered to the four winds, and then where she would be? Alone and forsaken, with only Mr. Pope to keep her company.
“No offence to you Mr. Pope, but I don't think your prayers alone is enough to keep me sustained.” She pauses for a moment, as if listening to something before crossing her arms in a huff.
“What do you mean I need to go on a diet? There is absolutely zero percentage of fat on this cute little body. Do you want me to throw you off from here?”
“Damn right you should apologize. Now go sit in a corner and think about what you did.”
Now that her partner is silent, it finally gives the little girl some time to think. The absence of her older sister has deeper ramification than she cared to admit. The little girl isn't actually angry that her sister wasn't there to greet her, she was afraid of what it meant. There are only few reasons why her sister would abandon her throne, none of it good.
The little girl looks around at her sister’s place, The Exalted Zenith. Located on the highest mountain of all creations, her sister’s throne is really breath-taking. And she’s not saying that just because it’s hard to breathe up here. Surrounded by an ocean of swirling clouds that moves serenely and violently at the same time, with a view as far her eyes cared to see. The most majestic and grandest mountain in the little girl’s domain would look like a pathetic pile of dirt when compared to this place.
Helena always did like high places, reminisce the little girl. It fits her personality of looking down on people (except for her sisters of course, Helena absolutely cherishes her two sisters). It doesn't mean Helena has a bad personality or anything, it’s just her nature. When you’re so high up the pecking order, all that’s left to do is to look down on the people you’re standing on.
The little girl ponders her next course of action. She could always return to her domain and act like nothing has happened. Helena is a big girl, the little girl is sure she can take care of herself. Plus the little girl has to look after her own domain. The sky could fall on her worshipers’ heads, literally, if she wasn't there to run things.
Maybe Helena’s out to visit Caecilia, our youngest sister, the little girl thinks. That’s right. Caecilia, she’s so young and silly. Helena is probably at Caecilia’s place, helping her manage things, looking over her shoulder, correcting her mistakes. That’s because Caecilia is so helpless and dependent, she needed her big sister to come running and bail her out. Which is why Helena had to leave her throne unattended, her garden unkempt, and her Oh who am I kidding? the little girl thought. Something had obviously happened to Helena, and it’s connected to those Staby Staby Knife Men.
The little girl frowns when she remember those “things”, pulled from the memories she discerned from the man. Unworldly and impossible creatures. Nothing that mere beings can create, not without “outside” help anyway. The little girl wonders who are the puppet masters pulling the strings from behind the scene. Their list of enemies is extensive. It could be anyone. During their rise to the top, the three sisters had countless opponents and no allies, they could only depend on each other.
She could always visit Caecilia and find out if her younger sister knows anything about Helena, the little girl ponders. But she didn't want to make the long trip there. She has already wasted enough time and energy as it is. Half of her worshipers could be suffering from famine, and the other half could be trying to slaughter everything else in a misguided attempt to please her.
Another reason the little girl didn't want to visit Caecilia is because their youngest sister’s throne is located underground. Don’t get me wrong, the little girl thought. Caecilia’s place is awesome. With its towering ivory stalagmites and stalactites, a massive indoor lake with crystal clear waters, and a sky roof located so perfectly, you would swear the moon was in the water when night time comes.
But the little girl is never comfortable in places where she could never fully see the whole sky. Whenever she is underground, she would always feel trapped and confined. And not just in Caecilia’s place. Even now the little girl is itching to leave the mountain where Helena calls her home. Now the little girl remembers the reason why she hasn't visited Helena since eons ago. It’s just that Helena’s place is too expose, the little girl thought. She always feels like she is open for attack from all direction.
“Don’t give me a place that’s too high, or a place that’s too low. Just give me a garden by the sea, and it will be just right. AHHHH! This isn't like me, to be acting all melancholy and wishy-washy!”
The little girl finally decides to quit dancing around the issue and confront the elephant in the room. She looks south of her sister’s place, towards the Grandiel Continent, towards the reason why she’s been acting like, for lack of a better term, a little girl. To the south, millions and millions of miles to the south, lies the first man she had given a kiss to. Her first kiss.
She did it on a whim. The man looked so helpless sitting there, with his mouth opening and closing, trying to find the words to form questions he has no idea if he wants answered. The little girl just wanted to hand feed him, make him say “Ahhh” while she WHAT THE HELL AM I THINKING!
The little girl head-butts a cliff wall, sending debris and shard of rocks flying everywhere. "Sorry Helena, your mountain just got shorter by a few hundred feet.” she mutters an apology. Not that it matters anyway, the little girl thought. It would still be the highest mountain in existence even if the little girl cut the whole mountain in half. She could always say it was like that when she got here, and if all else fail, she could push the blame on Mr. Pope.
“You hear that, Mr. Pope? That’s what you get for calling me fat!”
“I know you didn't say that exact word, but the meaning was implied!”
“The next few words that come out of your mouth better be some form of intense flattery.”
The little girl sighs and sits down on a boulder, a piece that she is sure was part of the cliff wall she had just demolished. She shouldn't have done that. She shouldn't have taken her frustration on her partner. She should never have kissed the man. She should never have helped him too. But after taking a glimpse at the man’s past, after all the tribulations that he had to suffer, plus the hellish trip he made through the Time Abyss, the little girl can’t help but admire his soul’s integrity. A lesser man would have been crushed by such a burden.
“Enough messing around!” the little girl stands up a slaps her cheeks hard with both hands. “I should act in a manner that is befitting of an ultimate ruler. I am not some peasant girl who falls for the first white knight she sees riding into her village.” The little girl looks to the south, the millions upon millions of miles that separates them is nothing to her. If she wishes, she could concentrate her eyes and see what he is doing at the moment. But she won’t.
The little girl gazes at the boulder near her feet, imagining it to be a container. She fills it to the brim with all her unwanted feelings, her doubts, her hesitation, her indecision, her confusion. After she felt them leave her body, she unleashes a mighty kick that launches the boulder hurling into space.
“Come Mr. Pope. Let's hope Caecilia is available for tea.”
At that very moment, millions upon millions of miles south of The Exalted Zenith, somewhere in the Grandiel Continent, in the Kingdom of Nurani, in the Whiteford Academy, in the north hall, the students and the faculty members are in the middle of having their dinner when suddenly the massive door is flung open.
“GOOD NEWS EVERYONE! I'VE BROUGHT SOME BAD NEWS!”
says the smiling barefooted, hospital gown-wearing boy to the stunned crowd.