The Ruby Insignia
Thirty-two years later – year 6378 OI
“I got it for you,”a soft voice rang through the room.
Kerria turned around and watched as Alian held the water-pitcher in one hand and a glass cup in the other. Alian, her assistant, was, by all means, a petite female hailing from Spring Court. She was the same as Kerria in height and stature, but that was just about the only thing they shared.
Kerria had hired her just a few months ago, and though the female was shy, she got around quickly, picking up the skills that most females in Dunia, Kekere-Daun boasted. She stood out, nonetheless, with her sandy complexion to match sandy hair, which drastically contrasted the dark warmer browns of most of Dunia’s residents.
“You can place it on the table over there,” Kerria instructed, pointing at the chipped wooden table that had been the centerpiece of her bedroom ever since she moved to Dunia over thirty years ago.
Alian placed the pitcher down, along with the glass cup. “Anything else, oloye?”
Kerria shook her head, then turned to face the balcony. She was still getting used to the dense forestry outside and the low-hanging fog that often clouded the skies. When she’d first come to Dunia, she was hidden in the deep forests in the south. The regency was packed with conifer trees that seemed to grow several hundred feet tall. Hiding in such thick forestry took a toll on her mental health, especially since she was forced to abandon her home in Ariwa-Ịte due to a war that threatened her life.
“And he’s here,” Alian said, her words delicate and timid.
Kerria turned to look at her. “Who’s here?”
“The male.” Alian’s voice was stricken with fear more than anything else.
Kerria sighed, forcing herself toward the door. She grabbed her sweater that hung over the bedpost. “He promised to only visit at night.”
“Who is he?” Alian pressed, but it never surprised Kerria that Alian had her suspicions. The female used to work for A’Mara many eons ago.
Avoiding the long-winded conversation that Alian was pressing to have, Kerria pushed past her and strutted into the hallway, breaking out in a half-sprint to the stairwells and carefully avoiding the maid-servant making her way up. As she descended the staircase, she could partially see Him in the foyer, comfortably seated on a linen-upholstered sofa that was centered in the middle of the open room.
He was covered from head-to-toe in a black cloak, with a hood pulled over His head, covering nearly three-quarters of His face, and leaving only the smallest glimpse of the smile on His lips when He noticed her standing on the last two stairs.
Pulling in a breath, Kerria made her way into the foyer, taking notice of the fact that He was very laidback today.
“Don’t visit during the day unless there is an emergency,” she scolded, but that just resulted in a wider grin by the male who already showed her He never cared for the ‘silly’ rules she set.
“It is an emergency,” He stressed.
“I don’t find this funny.”
He shrugged her off and slouched further into the sofa. The light from outside reflected underneath the shadow of His hood, and she caught a quick glimpse of luminescent gold eyes—the eyes that boasted power. He’d kept Himself away from Ịtoba for centuries, and on the rare occasions He did visit, He often drowned Himself in a cloak that shrouded Him in a mystery no one ever dared to uncover.
Today was no different, except it had been thirty-two years since she last saw Him. So, it must have been an emergency of an exponential sort.
“Tell me,” she said.
“I think you would be interested in the information I found out,” He began. “Luce paid a visit to Ịtobaaround three years ago, but he showed his face in Spring Court only yesterday.”
“I thought he was trapped on Earth.” Last time Kerria heard, Luce had escaped to Earth when the military tried to capture him and be confined to the Abyss. Kerria never heard anything after, and that was thirty-plus years ago.
He shook His head, letting a casual chuckle slip through His lips. “Everyone believes that.”
“Give me one good reason why I should be interested in all this.” Kerria tapped her feet against the hardwood floor. She couldn’t figure out why, out of all people, He decided to show up here to tell her about Luce. It wasn’t like she was in charge of the Shujaa.
“You control the Kekere-Daun Kingdom. I felt the need to tell you.”
“Ocia leads the Shujaa.” Telling her would’ve been more appropriate, but she guessed the Elohim had other plans up His sleeve.
“I know, but My suspicions of Luce’s whereabouts lead Me here.”
“I can still let Ocia know.” Her face twisted into a frown. “Why didn’t You do something about it in the meanwhile? You let three years slip by.”
“Why should I draw attention to Myself?”
Kerria rolled her eyes at the comment. “Is that how You see it?”
“Lucifer is a traitor of these realms and the Divine Throne. Thus, he is a traitor to You. And You do nothing about him.”
“He doesn’t threaten Me.”
“Well, he threatens the rest of us,” Kerria argued. “You didn’t explain how he escaped Earth.”
“It’s complicated.” The smile on His face dropped. “There are open portals from Earth that leads to Kekere-Daun. I suspect that’s how he got in.”
Kerria crinkled her brows. “Open portals? What do You mean by that?”
The Elohim tipped His head to the side, causing Kerria to look behind her and at Alian, who’d crept downstairs.
“I was—I just came to return these.” She showed Kerria the stack of plates she held in her hands.
Kerria shifted closer to the wall, allowing Alian to pass her and make her way into the kitchen, and when she was out of sight, Kerria returned her attention to the Elohim seated on her sofa. “You were saying?”
He shook His head at the question she posed. “I left the portals there to connect Kotak to Ịtoba, but I suspect someone in this Kingdom may have helped Luce get back in.” The Elohim got up, straightening His cloak and making His way to the door.
“Is this why You came to me. You think he’s hiding out here?”
“And You don’t mind this?”
“I have to go back. The other Divine Ones wait for Me in the Palace Courts.”
“You barely answered any of my questions.”
“I told you all that you needed to know. I seal My lips from saying any more.” Then, He left.