Chapter 1 | The Golden Sarcophagus
THIRD PERSON POV
“Ladies and gentlemen please gather around because for what you about to see is beyond everyone’s expectations. Behind this door is something that no one has ever seen before. After several years hidden from the public eyes, our museum has finally decided to exhibits one of many mysteries of the universe.” The tour guide unlocks the door using a thumbprint scanner.
“Before I grant you all permission into this exhibition, I was told to explain the importance of not touching anything that is being displayed. This exhibition is believed to be cursed, and each item that you’re about to see has its own story to tell. Our team of historians, archaeologists and anthropologists managed to get important pieces of information from the ancient text that was buried together with the sarcophagus.” The tour guide smiled.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, The Golden Sarcophagus.” The tour guide finally pushed the door open and let the tourists admire the room from the outside before giving them permission to enter. Among the many tourists that joined this tour, the guide managed to notice a figure he recognised.
“It is nice to see you here again, Evangeline.” Evangeline Odin smiled at the guide and also an old friend of her parents.
“My mother would’ve been so proud to see her hard work finally being recognised by the museum. But, it all happened after her death. It’s a bummer than she didn’t get to see it for herself.” Evangeline sighs.
“I’m sure she’s enjoying it wherever she is now. Anyway, you only manage to see some of the artefacts from the Golden Sarcophagus collection, correct?” Evangeline nods.
“There is some artefact that I haven’t seen before. Is it new?” The guide shakes his head no.
“To ensure the exhibition success, the curator decided to include a few artefacts that haven’t been examined yet. Miss Kingston wasn’t happy at all because of the value of it alone cost so much.” Evangeline looked around the exhibition hall for Miss Kingston.
“If you’re looking for her, she’s currently not available. Besides, why should she be here?” Evangeline was confused.
“But this is her project. She should be here,” the tour guide shakes his head.
“The curator decided to put your late mother’s name on the brochure and introduce this exhibition as a tribute for her passing. Miss Kingston’s name is nowhere to be found anywhere. She wasn’t mad for it since Miss Kingston looks up to your mother and the work she had done. But when she knew that its how the curator wanted to attract more tourists and historians to the museum, she is not happy.” Evangeline can’t believe how manipulative the new curator is.
“Using a dead person name for his personal gain, he is such a despicable human being.” As soon as Evangeline said that, she saw the curator walks into the exhibition hall with a huge smile plastered on his face. Evangeline excuses herself and struts around to see the exhibition. She was particularly interested in seeing the sarcophagus with her own eyes.
“What a beauty she was,” Evangeline was surprised when she heard a giggle. She looks around and wonders where it came from.
“Beautiful, isn’t she?” Evangeline was totally shocked when a man suddenly standing beside her.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to creep on you like that.” The man smile at her gently. Evangeline was this close to fallen for him just for his smile, but once again she heard that mysterious giggle. She turns to the man, but he doesn’t seem to hear it.
“Did you hear that?” The man was confused.
“Hear what?” He asked Evangeline back. For her own good, she let it go and continue to see the exhibition.
As she leans to see the crown that belongs to the person inside the sarcophagus, once again, she heard a distant giggle. When she looks up, the people around her didn’t even react to it as she did. Her eyes then landed on the sarcophagus.
“What was that?” She asked herself.
“What was what?” A woman behind her asked. When Evangeline turns around, she was surprised to see one of her mother’s old friends standing behind her.
“Aunt Elly!” Miss Kingston smiles at Evangeline.
“I’m so glad to see you here, Eva. So, what do you think?” Evangeline pretended to act like a critique and place her thumb under her chin. Miss Kingston chuckles.
“Well, this exhibition is fantastic. You’ve done a great job,” Evangeline laughs together with Miss Kingston. They continue to talk animatedly until Miss Kingston remembered something.
“Eva, if I recalled, you’re on your final year in anthropology, correct?” Evangeline nods her head.
“I was thinking about doing a full thesis about The Golden Sarcophagus. That is why I’m here.” Miss Kingston smiled from ear to ear.
“What do you think of volunteering to help me investigate The Golden Sarcophagus? I know it may sound impossible, but these are not the only artefacts that were found at the burial site. There is a whole crate full of artefacts that haven’t been open yet, and we still have the burial ground to explore. I need some extra hands, and once we did, I will definitely give you personal recognition for your work.” It wasn’t that hard to convince Evangeline to participate.
“Great! Now, if you manage to find another person to join you, then it’s settled. Since I already found a person that willing to help us,” Evangeline raised an eyebrow.
“Maybe I should introduce you two.” Miss Kingston looked around and waved for the mysterious man from earlier.
“Evangeline, meet Caleb, Caleb, meet Evangeline.” They shake hands.
“Now, the real question, have you found out who exactly reside inside the sarcophagus? We know she’s a queen, but who exactly is she?” Caleb chuckled.
“It is believed that the woman resides in this stone coffin was a ruler of Gotus or known today as modern-day Russia. From what we manage to uncovered, she was betrayed by her own father; forced to be buried alive and left to die all on her own. The queen last moment was filled with sorrow and hatred.” Caleb suddenly takes Evangeline by the wrist and leads her to one of the many potteries made from pure gold that was being displayed.
“There is a reason to believe that the person resides in this stone coffin was actually a vampire. There is a whole story about that creature on this goblet alone.” Miss Kingston cleared her throat.
“Of course, there is no reason to believe that. We are here for scientific research, Caleb. I thought I already told you that many times.” Miss Kingston warned Caleb before spreading more baseless rumours.
“Do we know the name of the person that’s inside this sarcophagus?” Evangeline asked.
“Her name was Imperia Luna.”
“Why am I here again?” Daphne asked her best friend when they walk into the museum first thing in the morning. Evangeline pushed her friend through the door when she seems reluctant.
“It is because you promised to help me. Besides, you have nothing else going on. Might as well volunteer with me and who knows, you might even find your thesis topic.” Daphne rolled her eyes.
“You do know that the only reason why I took anthropology was that my family force me to take it.” Evangeline chuckled.
“Whether you like it or not, you have no say in this because you already promised. Besides, you are the type of person who stays true to her words.” Daphne sighed heavily.
“I just can’t win against you. Anyway, where are we going? I don’t think we have the proper identification to even go any further than what normally supposed to.” Evangeline smiled from ear to ear as she presents the access pass to her friend.
“I got that covered. You should be proud because the museum doesn’t just give you this kind of pass. Now that you have that, do you have any idea what kind of artefacts we’re about to examine?” Daphne was too lazy to guess so she just simply shakes her head. Before Evangeline could say anything, Caleb suddenly appeared behind them excitedly.
“Evangeline!” Daphne raised an eyebrow before facing her friend with questionable looks.
“Hi, Caleb. Oh! Caleb, this is Daphne. Daphne, this is Caleb, the other volunteer. He is on the second year of anthropology. So that makes him our junior.” Daphne looked at Caleb from head to toe.
“Not bad,” she said mentally. Daphne smiled at him as he waved his hand at her.
“Are you as excited as I am? We finally get to examine the Golden Sarcophagus with our hands!” Daphne’s eyes widen.
“We are going to examine The Golden Sarcophagus!? Are you kidding me? Please tell me that you’re joking right now.” Evangeline gave her friend a toothy smile.
“Your father will be so angry at you for doing this!” Daphne reminded her friend of Mr Odin.
“He won’t find out if someone didn’t tell him. I’m talking to you, Daphne.” Before Daphne could talk sense into her friend, Miss Kingston ushered them inside when she heard a commotion outside.
“Welcome to the private vault.” Miss Kingston introduced the private vault where the museum kept their prized artefacts.
“Please do not touch anything without gloves. Do not drop, smear or even do anything unnecessary with the artefacts inside this vault. Just a heads up, this vault alone cost more than 12 million dollars.” Daphne’s eyes widen, and so does the two other.
“Here are your gloves,” miss Kingston handed out the gloves to the students before leading them to the Golden Sarcophagus area.
“Wait, is that the sarcophagus? Are we going to finally get to open it?” Caleb acts precisely like a child in a toy store as he was putting on his gloves.
“Actually, we are. The curator wanted to see what is up with the person inside the sarcophagus. That is why we were granted access into the vault.” As Miss Kingston placed her hand on the top of the sarcophagus, she immediately pulled her hand away after she felt a thump.
Miss Kingston was so confused that she even turned her attention to the students that are watching her.
“What’s wrong, miss Kingston?” Caleb asked as he gets the camera ready. Miss Kingston decides to let it go rather than telling them what was going on.
“It was nothing. Miss Odin, Miss Sommers, please help me to remove the top cover.” But before Miss Kingston said they could move them, Evangeline accidentally pushes the top way too hard, and it dropped on to the ground.
“Jesus Christ! What did I tell you!? Be careful! You’re lucky it didn’t break to pieces,” instead of checking what’s inside the sarcophagus, miss Kingston went to the top cover and place them carefully on the ground with Daphne’s help.
“That was quite heavy. I think I broke a nail because of this,” Daphne was busy checking her nails. When she turned to Caleb, she noticed that the man is shaking to his bones.
“Caleb, you won’t get any good shot if your hands are shaking like that.” Slowly but surely, Caleb raised her hand and pointed at the sarcophagus. Daphne was confused and decided to turn to the direction Caleb pointing at.
To her horror, a humanoid figure was seen sitting inside the sarcophagus with its whole body covered in a dirty shroud. It seems like the figure is observing its surrounding.
“Holy mother of God!” Daphne falls on her butt when she tries to take a few steps away from the sarcophagus.
“Hmm … still, believe in God? Humans … they never learn.” The figure said as it tried to remove the shroud that has been covering her body for thousands of years.
“Please, can someone remove this disgusting shroud off my face? I may be the undead, but once in a while I do need to breathe some fresh air.” Miss Kingston was surprised, horrified and curious all at the same time.
Miss Kingston took a brave step towards the sarcophagus and removes the shroud from the humanoid figure with her hands shaking. While the students were worried that they might see a disfigured ancient corpse, Miss Kingston didn’t even faze when a piece of old flesh made contact with her hands.
“That’s better. Thank you, Miss Kingston.” The humans were mesmerised by the beauty that suddenly appeared out of nowhere. The figure decided to stand up from the sarcophagus, and as her feet landed onto the ground like a feather, the humans suddenly have the urge to kneel.
“It seems like your land recognised me as their ruler.” Imperia chuckles when the humans instinctively kneel on the ground.
“Why are you on your knees, humans?” Imperia asked. She enjoys watching humans being lost and confused.
“I just feel like it’s the most appropriate thing to do. After all, you were once a great ruler of all Gotus,” Miss Kingston said it, but she doesn’t know where it all came from. Imperia chuckled before she snapped her finger to wake them up.
“Rise, humans,” and just like that, the urge was gone.