Moon found herself waking up in a humid cave with barely a light peering in from the outside. The sound of dripping water gave away the presence of long stalactites hanging above her. With every painful move of her muscle, she pulled herself across the cave until she felt the taste of water. She laid there, mouth agape until she passed out again.
In a barely conscious state, Moon overheard two men speaking. They were in the cave, too, somewhere closer to the entrance, it seemed.
“How many units are available for purchase?”
“As many as you want.”
There was a moment of silence.
“I’ll take a hundred units first. If everything goes well, we can do ten thousand units… quarterly.”
“Deal. In the next shipment, your men will find a hundred units at Manila Port.”
Another moment of silence.
“Send my regards to your father.”
With a quivering voice, the younger man replied, “Thank you.”
As footsteps quietened, Moon fell back into unconsciousness.
The Creature fed Moon with sea algae until she regained her strength. And though she had given up the flaming pearl to the Yuta, in return, the brief meet with Ma gave back Moon her spirit. It was as if the thick black fog that had consumed her since Ma’s death had finally dissipated, and she could breathe again. Ma was dead. But Ma would always live in her.
With the Creature by her side, she pulled herself together, walked out of the cave, and traced the winding beach. Faint sounds grew louder; soft lights grew brighter. She followed them and found herself in a sprawling marketplace.