Ripples

Rescue of Hearts

The moment that Seth took off into the night, Tikali woke up to find herself in a prison wagon. Her head was throbbing from being clubbed and from being dragged by her hair, resulting in her hair being tangled. She looked down at herself to see that she was covered with dirt. As she started to wonder where she was, a man stormed up to her wagon, full of rage. A tall Egyptian, he was bald with black robes that remained open to show off his black shendyt and priestly pendant that lay against on his bare chest. When he got close, a middle-aged, overweight man with very short hair, stubble, and poor hygiene shot up into view from sitting in front of the wagon. "Sir, we have--" He never got the chance to finish his statement when the man backhanded the heavier before revealing, "You got the wrong bitch!"

Tikali squeaked in fear, both from the slap and from the revelation that she was taken because of mistaken identity. The foul man stood up, clutching his cheek. "Wrong…? But I thought…"

The bald man grabbed the other's neck and pushed his face against the bars. "Look, you imbecile! That is not the crowned princess!"

Tikali hugged herself as the fat man started to plead. "Please…Master Sutekh…I beg you, please forgive me…"

The bald man known as Sutekh threw his subject down to the ground. "Mistake?! How hard is it to grab the future Queen?!"

Standing up, the overweight man rubbed his head and muttered, "Well, I didn't know that they looked similar…"

Sutekh glared a death glare and started to chant a spell in Hieratic. The servant's head shot up, recognizing the spell, and turned around to plead for his life. But he never got a chance to utter a single syllable: the foul man burst into flames and was burned alive. Screaming in terror, Tikali backed up as much as she could. When the burning corpse collapsed from view, Sutekh looked up at the frightened girl. "Now what am I going to do with you?"

Tikali looked away, bracing herself for him to burn her alive as well. As Sutekh considered his options, another servant, a foreign man, appeared next to Sutekh, looking at Tikali with hungry, sunken eyes. He had oily brown hair, a thin moustache and stubble, and had on dusty clothes. He chuckled with delight but spoke with fear, "Master…let me take her…let me have fun with her…"

Tikali paled, knowing exactly what kind of fun he was talking about since that was how the bandits spoke before they raped the women from Tikali's tribe. Sutekh turned to leave and waved his hand, revealing a leather wristband. "Do what you please…"

The disgusting foreigner giggled with delight as he opened the cell and climbed in. Tikali tried to make herself shrink in the corner since she could back up no more. When the loyalist approached, Tikali tried to run for the open cage, causing the loyalist to grab her skirt and rip it. When she almost made it to the door, he grabbed the main body of her dress and threw her back to the corner. In doing so, he ripped a big hole in her side and he sniffed the cloth, shuddering with creepy delight. He then crawled to her and grabbed her arm. "You're mine now, my pretty…"

Tikali was about to scream when an orb of light emerged from her heart. The light was so bright that it blinded the loyalist, causing him to yelp in pain, and caused Sutekh to stop walking away and look back in shock. Before the foreigner could demand what was going on, a blast of light hit him, throwing him out of the cell and at his master's feet. His fear growing, the servant took off running and screaming. Sutekh growled that a girl could give him so much trouble and left to find a spell to combat what she had. Tikali looked down at the ball of light as the light dimmed to a comfortable glow. "What…?"

Just then, a gentle voice sounded from the light: "I am your protector."

Before Tikali could ask for an explanation, the ball of light glowed bright again, causing Tikali to shield her eyes. When the light dimmed once again, she lowered her hands and her eyes widened at what she saw. Before her, in the ball of light, was an angel with white wings and purple hair that was tied at the bottom by her ankles and she was wearing white and gold armor with matching boots, elbow length gloves that held a staff with a sun at the end, and a winged headband. Seeing Tikali's confusion, the angel smiled. "My name is Celestia, the lightsworn angel…and I am your guardian, Tikali."

Tikali relaxed under the glow of the angel. "My guardian?"

Celestia nodded. "That's right. I was sent to watch over you by the Creator."

Tikali's eyes widened: God did exist and He sent her a guardian despite her doubts that He existed? "I…never knew…"

Celestia smiled. "Well, by the will of the Father, we are supposed to keep ourselves secret until the right time. But I have been with you since you were born, protecting you throughout your many hardships."

Tikali lowered her head. What Celestia was saying made sense: when her tribe was attacked and she was kidnapped, she remained somewhat safe and, while she moved from home to home, she was taken care of and eventually made it to the palace where she found acceptance. Because of that, she felt guilty for doubting in God's existence. Seeing this guilt, Celestia smiled. "Do not let your heart be troubled. You have been forgiven. Everyone has doubts during troubled times and He understands."

Tikali smiled and gave a silent prayer to God, thanking Him for protecting her and forgiving her doubts. She then asked, "Will you help me escape?"

Celestia shook her head. "There is no need. Seth is on his way." Tikali lit up a little, feeling her heart beat a little faster as Celestia continued. "He cares for you, Tikali…you are very special to him." As the light started to dim and Celestia started to fade, she said, "Everything will be all right…have faith and know that I am with you always."

With that, Celestia faded away and returned to Tikali's heart. Feeling relief for the first time in a long time, she smiled and touched her heart with closed eyes. "Thank you, God…" She then looked up at the stars and whispered, "Seth…please come…"

---

The next night, Tikali was shivering from the cold. She hugged herself to try and get some warmth but it did very little to help her as she sneezed and looked out the bars. She wanted to ask for a blanket but she was too scared of her captives, especially of Sutekh and his foreign loyalist, to ask for one. She did not know if her kidnappers would even give her a blanket if she asked since they stayed away from her except to give her small morsels to eat. As a wind started to touch her, she shivered when she heard tapping on the bars. She looked up and, while she did not see who was there, she did see a blanket waiting for her. At first, she wondered if it was a trick from the foreigner to get a chance to touch her; however, her need for warmth had her grab the blanket and wrap it around herself, quietly praying thanks to God. Looking up, she noticed there was a girl in front of the wagon. She had long bluish-white hair, blue eyes, and very pale skin. What Tikali did not see was that the girl's legs were transparent and her feet were invisible, thus making her a spirit. Smiling at the Hebrew, she asked, "Are you warm?"

Tikali nodded. “Did you bring me the blanket?" Off of the girl's nod, Tikali smiled. "Thank you so much."

The girl smiled. "What's your name?"

"Tikali. What's yours?"

The girl shook her head. "Don’t worry about my name. Just know that I am here to help you."

Tikali smiled her thanks but then froze a little when she saw that the girl was picking the lock. "Wait, what are you doing?"

The girl hushed her as she opened the door. "Come on, let's go."

Tikali got a little nervous but this was an opportunity that she could not pass up; her trust for his unknown girl was strengthened when she heard Celestia tell Tikali that everything was all right. She got up and out of the cage. As soon as the Hebrew was out, the girl told her, "Take care of Seth for me."

Shocked that this servant girl knew about Seth, Tikali turned to demand answers but she was stunned to find that she was alone. Hesitating in confusion, she was spotted by the foreign loyalist, who immediately started screaming for Sutekh. Scared for her life, Tikali took off running. She, unfortunately, did not get far: a tall black man with bulging muscles stepped out from a tent, blocking her path. He grabbed her throat and lifted her up in the air. "Where do you think you're going?"

Tikali was too busy trying to breathe to answer. But both froze when they heard a loud screech of a bird. Just then, something swooped down and dug its talons into the man's face, causing him to cry in agony and drop the Hebrew. Back on the ground, Tikali looked and recognized Itami as the bird who was scratching and clawing the man's face. Because she was too scared to move, she did not hear the horse approaching her from behind until she was pulled up onto the horse in front of rider. She grew more scared until she looked back and saw who it was: "Lord High Priest!"

Seth held her close to keep her steady as the horse raced away from the camp. Itami, let's go!

Itami dug her talons into the black man's face some more before flying after Seth and Tikali. However, they were soon pursued by some of Sutekh's followers, including the black man whose face was now covered with blood. Seeing them, Seth silently cursed at the annoyance. He wanted to turn around and fight them but he knew he could not with Tikali with him, especially with how scared she was. Itami, I'll let you have fun.

Itami looked down and, without making the connection, asked, Don't you want to have some?

Seth shook his head. I have someone to take care of. Itami agreed and was about to fly back when Seth added, Itami…show these scumbags why they should be…afraid of the dark.

A shiver of delight went through the phoenix's body. As Seth rode into the night with Tikali, Itami flew back, tapping into her dark power. She started to glow black and her aura started to form into a bigger phoenix. The followers noticed the aura too late: the black aura grabbed them and pulled them inside. All that could be heard from within the auras were their screams of horror as they were locked in nightmares. Itami's eyes glowed red as she could almost feel the followers' fears.

---

Moments later, Seth and Tikali arrived at an oasis where Seth had a camp set up with a tent big enough for two people, a fire, and supplies to last for a few days. Stopping his horse in front of the camp, Seth looked down at the Hebrew. "You're safe now." When Tikali did not answer, Seth got off his horse and helped her down. "We'll stay here for the night and continue in the morning."

Tiki looked up in fear. "What about those men?"

Seth smirked a little. "Don't worry about them. Itami's taking care of them."

Tikali nodded and pulled the blanket tighter across her body. Seeing this, Seth hugged her from behind, making her gasp. "Lord High Priest…"

Seth gently shushed her and whispered, "I won't have any of that…"

Tikali could not believe that Seth was acting like this. As she turned around in the hug, she took note of what he was wearing and looked up into his eyes, feeling a blush form on her face at how handsome he was and how he was hugging her. But her blush soon softened when she saw how he looked up close: despite his handsome features, his eyes were bloodshot and he had bags under his eyes, showing that he had either barely slept or not slept at all since she was kidnapped. Seth looked down at her and asked, "Are you all right…Tikali?"

Tikali nodded and leaned into his chest, too scared to care whether this was right or not. Seeing this, Seth tightened his hold on her and laid his head on hers, trying to make her feel safe in the embrace. Tikali smiled and closed her eyes, feeling safety, warmth, and something else filling her heart. Seth could feel the warmth as well and knew better than to fight against it, since he knew that there was only one other woman in the past who made him feel this way and he knew that she wanted him to move on and experience the same warmth with Tikali. They stayed still until Seth pulled back a little, making Tikali open her eyes and look up at him. "Lord…"

Seth cut her off. "No…don’t call me by my title."

Tikali blushed a little and nodded. "All right…Seth."

Seth nodded and gestured towards the tent. "The tent is yours for the night."

"What about you?"

"I'll be outside, standing guard in case bandits find us."

Tikali reached out and touched Seth's arm. "But you need your sleep."

Smirking at how adorable she was acting out of concern for him, Seth shook his head, even though he agreed with her. He did need sleep but he wanted to keep her safe above all so he gently pushed her towards the tent. "Do not worry; I shall be fine." Before Tikali could protest, he put his finger on her lips. "Hush…you've been through too much as it is. Go…rest. I will be right here."

Seeing that he was determined to stay up and protect her, she nodded and went to the tent. But she paused and looked behind her. His back to her, Seth took a seat a few paces from the tent with his sword at his side. A few seconds later, Itami swooped down and perched on his shoulder. Seeing this, Tikali could not help but smile at this as she entered the tent for the night.

After confirming with Itami that Sutekh's servants were taken care of, Seth gave her a piece of fruit and went back to keeping watch. After a few minutes, Itami suggested, Why don't you keep Tikali company?

Seth looked at Itami in shock with a little blush. From within the tent, he can hear her singing softly. Peeking at the tent, he felt the temptation but he shook his head. "This is not proper…as a gentleman, it is my duty to stand guard."

Itami shook her head in amusement; she could tell that Seth did want to join Tikali in the tent. Digging into his shoulder, she pointed out, I can stand guard. Besides, you haven't slept in two suns and you need your sleep.

Seth could not argue with that since he was very exhausted and he also knew that, even if Itami fell asleep, she could still stand guard better than he at his current state. Standing up, he went to the tent and started to lift the entrance flap when Itami flew to him and pecked his head. What are you doing, you idiot?! You can't just walk in on a lady! She could be changing!

Seth blushed deeper, realizing just how close he came to Tikali thinking he was a lowly peeping tom. Pushing Itami away, he asked, "Tikali? Are you decent? May I come in?"

Tikali's voice rang out. "Yes, I'm decent."

Hearing that, Seth took a deep breath, not used to feeling these feelings, and headed into the tent. Inside, he saw immediately that Tikali had cleaned her face, combed the tangles out of her hair, taken off her dress for the night, and converted her two blankets (one from her captives and one that Seth brought for her) into a toga. Remembering that Lapidos wore similar attire but also that Tikali had neither met Lapidos nor been to Greece, Seth asked, "Interesting outfit."

Tikali smiled with a blush and looked down at it. "Yes…Tima told me about how they dressed in Greece and, since I don't have any night clothes, I had to cover up somehow."

Seth nodded as Tikali sat down on her other blanket that was laid out for bed. He sat next to her, making her blush a little more, and held her close. "I'm so glad you're all right."

Tikali smiled and touched his chest. But her mind was alert and told her that this was not right so she pulled back. Seth looked at her and asked, "Why are you pulling away?"

Tikali looked down and pushed her hair behind her ear. "Well…you are the High Priest…and I am your servant…"

Seth looked at her and stated, "Not anymore."

Tikali froze a little. Seeing him rub his eyes to try and stay awake, her attention was diverted as she asked, "If I may…when did you last sleep?"

Seth looked at her and answered honestly: "The night before you were kidnapped." Off of her look of worry, he explained, "I couldn't sleep…not until I knew that you were safe."

Tikali fidgeted a little and looked down at her fingers. "Why, Lord--Seth? Why were you so worried about me, a simple slave?"

Seth reached over and made her look at him. "Because I now know what it feels like to have someone who really cares about me despite my flaws." Tikali blushed, her face showing her feelings clearly, as Seth decided to be honest with her. "I have to tell you…when you first became my servant, I wanted nothing to do with you for two reasons. The first was me being stubborn and believing that I did not need a servant. But the main reason, I sound found out, was…that you reminded me too much of Kisara, the woman that I loved. That was why I was cold-hearted and snapped at you a lot. But, no matter how I treated you, you still bent over backwards to serve me. Because of how you treated me, I got confused about my feelings since I could not understand how you could stand to stick with me." Reaching out, he touched her cheek before continuing, "It wasn't until you were kidnapped that I realized that I actually enjoyed your company."

Tikali blushed, feeling her heart swell. "Seth…"

Seth then did something that, until now, Kisara had only seen: he smiled at the Hebrew. "Tikali…you are no longer my servant…you are now my equal and love. Tikali…I love you."

Tikali looked at him with a small tear falling from her eyes. "Oh, Seth…I love you too."

Seth wiped her tear away and looked in her eyes. He then leaned forward and kissed her gently. Kissing him back, Tikali felt herself melting; she had never felt so happy after everything she went through. It was as the sun was finally shining for her. She could only feel the sun shining brighter when she felt his arms wrap around her and touch her toga blanket…

---

The next morning, Tikali woke up to find herself alone, hearing Seth gathering supplies outside. She stretched her back a little and covered her body with the blanket as she remembered last night with a blush and a happy sigh. Just then, Seth came in with a small bag of fruits and bread and said with a smile, "Good morning."

Tikali turned on her side and smiled up at him. "Good morning."

For a moment, Seth could not help but stare at his little lover. He could not get over how innocent she looked, especially since last night was far from innocent. Sitting next to her, he bent down and kissed her a couple of times. "Did you sleep well, my love?"

Tikali chuckled at his nickname for her. Grabbing her ripped dress, she went under the covers to put it on. "Yes, I did. I dreamt of you."

Seth started to sort the food, knowing that it would take half a day to return home. "Did you now?"

Tikali nodded as she came back into view. She silently whined at the sight of her wearing her ripped, dirty dress but she knew she had to make do because she did not have another dress to wear for the voyage home. As Seth gave her her breakfast, she thought of something. "Seth…I'm worried…"

Seth looked at her with a raised eyebrow. "Worried? About what?"

Tikali blushed a little and nibbled on her bread. Growing concerned, Seth wrapped his arms around. "You can tell me…please."

Tikali looked up at him and confessed, "About us. This is different from Tima's situation…because the Pharaoh can do what he wants. But this…I'm afraid they won't accept this…that they'll send me away."

Seth shook his head and kissed her forehead. "Tikali…do not worry yourself about that. When we get back, I will take care of it. I will make sure that no one will even try and separate us." When he saw her try and protest with her worries, he hugged her tight. "You and I will never be apart again. I will personally see to that. Besides…the Pharaoh will help us."

Tikali looked up at him. "Really? He will?"

Seth nodded. "He's extending the same courtesy I gave him. You see, when he decided to be with Tima, I was his main supporter. For that reason, I know the Pharaoh will help us out."

Tikali sighed in relief as she continued to eat her breakfast. Things were starting to look up again now that she knew her worries had no solid ground. Once they were done eating, Tikali packed up the supplies and Seth took down the tent, unaware that Tikali was watching him closely with a blush. Once done, the two lovers mounted the horse and set off for home with Itami flying beside them, unaware that something ominous spotted them…

---

After a few hours of travel, they came within sight of the kingdom. Seth squeezed Tikali a little tighter and put his chin on her head. "We're almost home."

Tikali smiled. Secretly, she was a little disappointed that Seth would return to his priestly robes once they got back but took pleasure in the fact that he was handsome to her no matter what he wore. Just as they were about to head down the dune, Itami screeched, Seth, look out!!

Seth looked up and could not get the horse to react fast enough: a black energy blast hit the ground next to them, knocking down the horse and throwing them down the dune. Itami ducked a few attacks of her own before she swooped down and found the humans in the shadow of the dune, a little scratched but otherwise unhurt. Shaking his hair clean of sand, Seth looked up into the sky. "What in the name of Ra was that?"

Tikali shook her head in ignorance just as the source of the attack was revealed above them: a long, serpent-like, black dragon with red eyes. Tikali almost screamed but Seth covered her mouth and Itami hid them in the shadows, making them invisible. Seth whispered, "It can't see us so keep still."

Tikali nodded. Just then, they heard Sutekh's voice ring out: "Find them, you fools!"

Tikali shivered with fear, remembering what the man did to his follower just because he mixed up the two girls. Seth, however, got confused: that voice sounded familiar to him for some reason. Sensing the men coming up over the dune, Itami continued to hide them with her powers, trying to ignore the fact that her energy was dropping at an alarming rate. Tikali started to shiver some more when she heard the foreigner who tried to take her last night say, "My Lord Sutekh…it seems they have escaped us."

Seth's eyes widened at the mention of Sutekh, finally recognizing the name: a few years ago, Sutekh was the high priest at the temple of Anubis who was exiled from the kingdom when it was discovered that he was dabbling in necromancy in trying to overthrow the then-ailing Pharaoh Aknamkanon and take over the throne. Looking up, Seth saw that it was indeed Sutekh, looking around for them on his horse, with his foreign loyalist and twenty followers with him. The serpent-like dragon surrounded Sutekh, revealing itself to be Sutekh's Ka, as the banished priest said almost to himself, "They're still out there…my Night Serpent saw them…"

As Seth was figuring out how to get away from them (since Itami's powers only worked in the shadows and they were in the only shadowy part in the dune), he slowly reached into his bag and pulled out his DiaDhank, putting it on his arm if they needed to battle. Suddenly, the phoenix of darkness collapsed at Seth's feet: she has exhausted almost all of her energy and, thus, revealed them to the exiled men above them. Grabbing Tikali and Itami, Seth took off running, both while trying to activate his DiaDhank and trying to avoid attacks from Sutekh's Ka. To make matters worse, Tikali tripped when an attack just missed her foot and Seth had to stop to protect her. Just when he got Itami in his bag so she could rest and his DiaDhank properly on his arm, Sutekh's Ka was attacked by the Two-Headed-Jackal, injuring Sutekh in the process. Seth looked behind them and saw the members of the guard, the Royal Court, and Atem riding up to help them: Isis got a vision signaling that Seth and Tikali were nearby and needed immediate help. Seth smirked as he helped Tikali to her feet. "Help has arrived."

Seeing them, Sutekh growled and his Ka coiled near him, ready to attack. Atem saw who it was and grew angrier than before: it was bad enough that Tikali got kidnapped but it made it worse that it was by a former priest turned cast out criminal. "Sutekh! Returning to the kingdom after being exiled, kidnapping a life, and threatening the peace here…for these crimes, you have earned yourself an execution!"

Sutekh smirked, remembering Atem as the prince when he was a part of the temple of Anubis. "Bold words from such a young man…but I will never bow to you! Paca mar!"

Hearing him give the order to his Ka to kill, the Royal Court summoned their Ka. Summoning Duos, Seth pushed Tikali to the side and gave her the bag that had Itami in it. "Stay here."

He then joined the battle just as the Night Serpent sent a powerful dark beam towards the Royal Court. Knowing that his Ka was the only one who could produce shields, Mahad had his Ka the Illusion Magician produce a shield large enough to protect the group. However, the attack turned out to be too powerful; while the attack never hit them, it did destroy the shield and that, in turn, brought Mahad to his knees from loss of Ba. Sutekh's followers could feel their prides rising as Sutekh smirked evilly: now was the perfect opportunity to destroy the Pharaoh. With a single look, he ordered his followers to attack the guards and the Royal Court, the former priest knowing that they would be too focused on the fighting to engage their Ka properly. The only one who stayed behind was the foreign loyalist, too cowardly to engage in physical fighting. Sutekh looked at Atem. "Farewell."

With that, the Night Serpent attacked Atem directly. Seeing this, Seth felt his priestly instincts kick in and he ran in front of Atem to take the hit. But the hit did not hit him nor Atem: Atem managed to move his horse away from the path of the attack and Seth was tackled to the ground by someone who took the attack to the leg, causing it to bleed and her to scream. Landing on the ground with Seth, Tikali immediately clutched her bleeding leg, tears filling her eyes. Having a flashback to when Kisara fatally protected him, Seth went to work on wrapping her wound with a piece of his cloak since he suspected that Itami was still too weak to heal her. Because he was so focused, he did not see Duos was in trouble with the Night Serpent until Duos was destroyed, thus alerting Seth through pain and loss of Ba. Having been fighting with Sutekh's devotees, Atem could do nothing and cursed to himself: he knew that he had the most Ba and, thus, could call a God but the disciples of the exiled priest kept him too busy to summon one and there was the risk of Atem accidentally hurting a member of the Royal Court because of how engaged they were in the fighting. Seeing a chance to give Atem pain without actually hurting the Pharaoh, Sutekh had the Night Serpent attack Seth and Tikali directly. Without Duos, Seth could only hold Tikali tight and brace himself. But, to his surprise, the attack never hit them. Looking up, he saw why: there was a new Ka in front of them. Looking up as well, Tikali smiled weakly. "Celestia…"

Seth looked down at Tikali, figuring out that Celestia was the Ka in question, as the Night Serpent continued to attack and Celestia deflected and attacked with beams of light from her staff. But, because of the serpent-like body, the Night Serpent easily dodged the attacks and finally attacked Celestia directly, destroying the Ka and causing to Tikali to scream and pass out from the pain. Still weak from the loss of Ba, Seth cursed himself: once again, he felt weak and could not protect neither the Pharaoh nor the girl he loved. Still watching from the dune, Sutekh decided that he had enough fun and chanted a spell, turning all his followers but the foreigner into ash: they were nothing more than products of his necromancy. Getting off his horse, he headed down the dune, stating, "Give up, Pharaoh. You will never defeat me with my powerful Ka and spells that can call forth hundreds to do my bidding."

Atem glared at Sutekh. "We will never let an evil soul like you live…"

Sutekh chuckled. "Such big words for someone who's about to die."

Atem tried to stay as strong as possible but he knew that everyone, including himself after the fighting, was extremely low on Ba and, therefore, could not summon their Ka to protect them. Night Serpent returning to its owner's side, Sutekh started to order it to attack Atem but got a sickening idea, causing the Night Serpent to react by looking at Seth: Sutekh decided to attack the Court first to cause Atem emotionally pain first. "Paca mar…"

With nothing left to shield him, Seth held Tikali close and, once again, braced for impact. Atem and the rest of the Court tried to get to him in time but there was no need: a shot of white electrical light shot suddenly from the kingdom and hit the attack, causing a blast and smoke. Atem paled, thinking that he just lost a man he called a close friend. But, to everyone's shock, the smoke cleared and Seth and Tikali were still alive! His eyes adjusting, Atem saw the reason: "It's her…"

Feeling that nothing came, Seth looked up and his eyes widened at the sight. There was a whitish-blue aura in front of him and Tikali and Seth knew who the spirit was. "Kisara…"

The spirit looked back at Seth and gave him a sweet smile before speaking to him in his mind. Seth…the way you protected those you care about and Tikali…I could not allow that man to hurt you. There is a reason why I left my spirit with you: so I can protect you and those you care about…including your love, Tikali.

Sutekh was speechless: never had his Ka's attack been stopped, let alone by the spirit of a human. But he quickly learned that there was more to this spirit than met the eye. Knowing that he had to protect his friends, comrades, and his only love, Seth had to use the gift that Kisara left him. Finding strength again, he stood up with Tikali in his arms as Kisara's spirit glowed brightly and started to change. Seth closed his eyes in concentration as a name came to his head. Opening his eyes with a determined look on his face, he said in a strong voice, "Appear before me, White Dragon!"

With a furious roar, the Ka took its final form: a bluish-white dragon with blue eyes and strength that was second only to the Gods. The Ka wrapped its tail around Seth in protection and deeming him its rightful owner. At that moment, Tikali stirred a little and looked up to see the dragon. Seth did not notice that Tikali was awake, having all his attention on Sutekh, who was frightened but refusing to admit defeat. "No! You will not defeat me! No one can defeat me!"

Night Serpent attacked with its most powerful attack but it did not last: Seth ordered the White Dragon to attack and the Ka obeyed, destroying the Night Serpent, the foreign loyalist, and Sutekh himself. The White Dragon gave a cry of victory as Seth looked up at it. Kisara…the gift you left me…your Ka…I shall use it to protect those I care for, including my beloved.

The White Dragon looked at him before disappearing but not before spreading light all around, restoring everyone's energy and healing Tikali's leg. Seeing that he was okay, Tikali reached up and hugged Seth tightly. The High Priest hugged him back, not caring that everyone was witnessing this side of him (and in the dark about Aknadin's look of disapproval). Atem rode up to the couple, bringing an extra horse for them. "Let's go home."

Seth looked up at Atem and nodded. For the first time in a long time, he was happy to hear that he was going home…for he now had a home with Tikali.
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