Ripples

From Pain Comes Realization

With the wedding two weeks away, Atem was preparing to tell Roxanna that the wedding was off. He knew that she would be devastated because his power and wealth would not be hers; he also knew that he should have done this as soon as he and Tima got together but knew that he did not because he was nervous about the reaction of the Court. Now that he knew that they did not like Roxanna, he thought that he would be able to tell Roxanna now and have their support. Speaking of Roxanna, he did notice that Roxanna was acting strange; she was still flirty with him but she appeared hurt at the same time. She also seemed to be glaring at Tima every chance she got. Tima did not seem to notice since she was too busy being happy with Atem. He was really happy as well and, because of that, he planned to tell Roxanna in the morning. But he had no idea what Roxanna's plan was for that morning.

---

That morning, Tima work up extra early. She liked to spend as much time as possible with Atem, especially since he told her the night before that he had something important he wanted to talk to her about. If he had told her this a month before, her mind would have teased her all night with the possibility that he would tell her that he wanted out of the relationship. But, since he took her doubts away, she did not think that way; she only wondered what the subject was. As she started to stretch, there was a knock at the door. Curious and wanting to let Kiko keep on sleeping, the Hebrew went to the door and opened it a crack. Who was on the other side was a great surprise to her. "Mistress?"

Roxanna smiled softly. "Good morning, Tima. Can I speak to you?"

Looking at her, Tima was a little nervous with what Roxanna was wearing. She was wearing a one-shouldered red dress that went down to her knees and had a gold belt on it. For accessories, she had bracelets on each wrist, a gold tiara across her forehead, and knee-high, gold sandals. The Greek had often bragged that she would only wear the outfit when she had to invoke drastic measures but she never went into detail about what she meant by that. But, assuming that Roxanna was wearing it to seem attractive to Atem, Tima walked out of the room and closed the door. "Yes, Mistress. What would you like to talk to me about?"

Roxanna smiled some more and hooked her arm in Tima's. "Not here. Why don't we go to my room? We can have a drink there to reward you."

Tima was shocked beyond words: her former owner wanted to have a drink with her, a slave? In Greece, the idea was so out of the question that it was laughable. "Reward me?"

Roxanna nodded and pulled away to fully look at the Hebrew. "Of course. Throughout my stay here, you've been so good to the Pharaoh, have not caused him a hard time, and have been very obedient to him. I knew I made the right choice to give you to Atem-dear."

Tima could not believe what she was hearing. Looking at Roxanna's dress, the Hebrew wondered if the change in attitude was the drastic measures for the current situation. "All right."

Roxanna nodded and gestured forward. "Then come."

Tima smiled and started to follow the Greek to her bedroom. With her back turned to Tima, Roxanna's face contorted to a dark smile; her plan was coming together.

---

In Roxanna's bedroom, the girls were greeted by Lapidos refilling Roxanna's wine pitcher. Tima thought nothing of it because this was a regular practice with Lapidos: Roxanna had often said that she could not start the day without a taste of wine. Roxanna smiled. "Thank you, Lapidos. You can wait outside; this won't take long."

Lapidos nodded in obedience and went to stand outside. Going to the pitcher to pour the wine, Tima noticed a blue box next to the pitcher. She recognized it as a box that Roxanna never went anywhere without, even though her father did not like whatever was in it. Roxanna sat on her bed and saw Tima staring. "You like the box?"

Tima blushed a little and started to pour the wine. "Forgive me for staring…"

Roxanna brushed it off. "Don't worry about it."

Tima peeked at Roxanna and smiled. Maybe all of Atem's scolding and denial of her flirts made her turn over a new leaf. After pouring the wine, the Hebrew started to offer the Greek a goblet but Roxanna shook her head. "Not that cup. Give me the other one."

Finding that a little odd, Tima shrugged and gave Roxanna the other cup, keeping the original. "Mistress…forgive me but…is this all right?"

Roxanna raised her goblet with a little smirk. "Of course, Tima." She then looked like she was reminiscing. "You know…Atem-dear is not only a great Pharaoh but a great teacher as well. If he had not scolded me all those times, I would never have learned how to truly respect someone. I'm very grateful for that."

Tima smiled and raised her goblet as well, believing what Roxanna was saying. "To the Pharaoh."

With that, Tima started to drink the wine. Because of the angle, she could not see Roxanna's evil smirk forming as she drank her own wine. As she kept drinking, Tima felt some goop from the bottom and swallowed it, thinking it was mashed up grape that slipped into the liquid. But, as soon as she swallowed it, she knew that something was wrong. The goop tasted like parsnip and, when she looked into the goblet, it looked green. Getting nervous, she murmured, "What is this?"

Roxanna set aside her goblet, her evil smirk broadening. "A special blend…"

Tima grew pale as she set her goblet down. When she did, she accidentally knocked down Roxanna's box, opening it and revealing the plant known as Poison Hemlock, which was the same color as the goop that was in Tima's goblet. Tima could not believe it: Roxanna has just poisoned her! Almost panicking, the Hebrew looked at the Greek, who chuckled darkly. "It's your own fault. If you had been a good slave and known your place, I wouldn't have had to revert to drastic measures. I mean, did you really think I would not find out about the two of you? It's beyond disgusting…the Pharaoh choosing a slave over me. Well…with you out of the way, he'll be all mine."

Tima gripped the table a little, feeling her fingers and toes growing cold. Chuckling, Roxanna turned her head and called Lapidos back into the room. Entering, he saw the plant and Tima's look and put the pieces together, growing very pale. "My Lady, what have you done?!"

Roxanna shrugged a little and took another sip of her wine. "I win. Now that I've sentenced her to death, I'll have Atem-dear all to myself."

Lapidos could not believe what he was hearing and seeing. The Roxanna he knew and watched grow up might have been a brat (even he would not deny that) but she was no murderer. She did not even like talking about prisoners and criminals being executed even if they deserved the punishment. He shook his head in disbelief. "Lady Roxanna…"

Roxanna stood up and walked past Tima, who was down on her knees because her feet were completely numb, to lay down on her bed. "Please put the trash back in her room, Lapidos; we need to make it look like she committed suicide."

Tima looked up at Lapidos, her eyes pleading for help, and the Greek picked her up. "My Lady, we need to get her medical help or she'll die!"

Roxanna looked at Lapidos with dark eyes. "And this affects me how? Now do as I say." Lapidos was about to protest again when Roxanna glared at him darkly. "Take her back to her room or I'll have your head on a plate."

Lapidos took a step back, both scared for his life and scared of the person that Roxanna had turned into. Feeling like he was bound to serve her, he started to take Tima to her room. Scared out of her mind, Tima looked up at him. "Lapidos, please. You have to save me. I can't die."

Lapidos' face clearly showed that he was conflicted. He wanted to help but he also did not want to disobey Roxanna in fear of his life. By the time they returned to the room, Kiko had already left for the stables and Tima's hands started to tremble as a result of the poison. "Lapidos…please…"

Lapidos closed his eyes and lowered Tima onto her bed. "I'm sorry…" With that, he left the room but he stopped outside the door. Was he doing the right thing? He knew that he needed to follow Roxanna's demands but he did not want Tima's blood on his hands. As he was trying to figure out what to do, he heard Tima start to moan in pain. That worried Lapidos even more: after all, it usually took an hour to get this kind of response; Roxanna must have given her a strong dosage. Lapidos thought for another moment and then remembered a question that Tima asked a few months ago: "Why must we endure her abuse?" Lapidos lowered his head, feeling like he had been brainwashed by Roxanna's family. He always told himself that things would be worse if he was not serving the family but he knew that was not true. Plus, he knew that Roxanna was not acting like herself and he could not let her get away with this. Making his decision, he turned around and went back into the room. Tima looked up in pain. "Lapidos…"

He scooped up the Hebrew in his arms. "We need to get you to a doctor."

Tima nodded as her lower arms and legs start to hurt and her upper limbs started to go numb. As Lapidos started to run to find a doctor, Tima started to pray. 'Lord, please…forgive my sins…I ask for your help…I don't want to die…but, if I do…let me see Atem…one more time…'

Unbeknownst to Tima or Lapidos, a small, white orb emerged from Tima's hand and took flight.

---

At the staples, Atem was looking for Tima. The group was ready to start their run but Atem wanted to wait for Tima. She never showed up for their little meeting before the run and Kiko said that the Hebrew left before she did. "Where could she be?"

Jouno shrugged a little. "Maybe she's making us breakfast for when we get back."

Kiko shook his head. "I don't think so. She always tells me when she's either making a special dish or not running with us."

Atem agreed. Besides, she never missed their private times together. Getting more worried, he started to leave. "I'm going to go find her."

Tarra chirped in agreement. She had tried to contact Tima all morning and could not. Jouno gave a little whine, for he really wanted to run. Kiko smacked him upside the head. "Knock it off. She could be in trouble."

Jouno rubbed his head. "Only because you're the one who hit me will I not hit you back. But come on; I'm sure she's fine."

Earthzina looked up. Wanna bet?

The humans and phoenixes looked up and saw the orb of light hanging above Atem's head. When he reached up to touch it, his Sennen Pendant reacted with a glow and the orb became a white feather. What was alarming was that the feather had the aura of a Ka. Atem's eyes widened as a vision hit him: Tima suffering on a bed. Tarra gently tapped his temple. Are you okay?

Atem did not answer; he just took off running for the palace, with Tarra close behind him. Jouno tried to stop him but did not get to him. "Pharaoh!" Turning to Kiko, the Head Guard asked, "What's wrong with him?"

Kiko shook her head. "I don't know but I'm going to find out." With that, she and Nayru left, leaving Jouno and Earthzina behind. Jouno held up his hands in confusion. "What do they know that I don't?"

Earthzina suggested, Why don't you go find out? That servant the Pharaoh is close to could really be in danger.

Jouno still did not think so but decided to listen to his phoenix and started to head back to the palace.

---

Forgetting that he was in his running outfit, Atem ran around the palace, trying to find Tima. The vision did not show him which bed she was in and she was not in her room. Fearing the worse, he headed for the hospital wing. By that time, Tima's arms and legs were shaking and she was clearly in pain. Lapidos was working with the doctors, trying to keep the Hebrew warm and wiping away the salivation. He looked up and saw Atem and Tarra there. "What happened? What's wrong with her?"

Lapidos got nervous about the Pharaoh's reaction but he had to own up to it. "My Pharaoh…she's been poisoned."

Atem's eyes widened as he felt like a crushing blow had just struck him. Seeing her suffer like this, he felt like his life had been shattered like a piece of pottery. Tarra's heart broke as well; she really liked Tima and she knew that her healing tears could not heal internal wounds when the poison was swallowed or inhaled. Seeing Atem's face, Lapidos lowered down to a bow. "Forgive me, my Pharaoh! Lady Roxanna put a poisonous plant in Tima's drink! I had no idea what she was doing!"

Atem did not respond or even look at him; he simply went over to Tima. Her eyes were closed but her face showed how much pain she was in. It appeared that Death was simply waiting for the right moment to take her. He lowered down to his knees to get in front of her face as Lapidos looked up. "My Pharaoh…"

Atem murmured, "Out."

Lapidos stood up, a little nervous. "My Pharaoh, I…"

Atem quickly rose to his feet and turned to Lapidos. He was full of rage towards Roxanna and his Pendant reacted, glowing and giving him the Sennen Eye on his forehead. "OUT!!"

Lapidos ran out in fright, running into Kiko and Nayru and Seth and Itami. Seth demanded, "What is going on here? Why is the Pharaoh shouting?"

Lapidos lowered his head. "His slave has been poisoned…by my Mistress."

Seth was shocked but still a little confused. After all, Tima was nothing more than a servant; why should that make Atem react in such a way? Kiko and the two phoenixes were stunned. Itami growled, I knew that bitch was trouble!

Kiko looked at Lapidos. While she was scared for Tima's life, she thought that maybe she could make an antidote for whatever plant was used. "Lapidos, think: what kind of plant was it?"

Lapidos told her to wait and left before coming back with the box. Thankfully, Roxanna was still sleeping so he managed to slip in and out without detection. "This is the plant. My people use it to execute prisoners."

Seth snorted. "Prisoners? That girl is nothing but a common slave."

Itami tapped Seth's temple. She's more than that. Open your eyes for a moment.

Seth glared at her as Kiko opened the box and paled at the sight of the Poison Hemlock. Nayru squawked in surprise. Oh, no…

Lapidos looked at Kiko and asked, "What's wrong?"

Seth looked at Kiko and then at the plant. While Tima was nothing but a slave in his eyes, he could tell that Atem was suffering emotionally from her sufferings. "Well? Can you make an antidote?"

Kiko slowly shook her head. "No…there is no cure for the White Death."

Seth turned Kiko around. "What are you saying? You always have a cure in your head."

Nayru shook his head as Kiko explained. "There is none for this plant. When my people find this plant, all we can do to keep someone from being poisoned by it is burning it. I'm sorry…"

Seth was disappointed to hear that as he peeked in. Atem was holding Tima's shaky hands and Tarra was on the bed, nuzzling her head. Atem looked like he was heartbroken, catching Seth's attention. Atem seemed to be a little too close to this slave. He excused himself from Lapidos and Kiko and entered the hospital wing. Hushing Itami, he decided to watch for a moment.

Atem was stroking Tima's hand. She did not respond thanks to the shaking. "Tima…"

Hearing him, Tima opened her eyes and gave a weak smile. "Atem…"

Atem's heart broke; he did overhear Kiko saying that there was no antidote for the poisonous plant that she ingested. She winced at a wave of pain and looked up. "Atem…I…I'm sorry…"

Atem squeezed her hand. "Ssh…don't speak…it's not your fault…please, rest…"

Tima turned her head into the pillow. She felt like a fool, trusting Roxanna like she did. She groaned again, making Tarra nuzzle her head again. Tima…

Tima's body curled up at another wave of pain. Atem lowered his head onto her hand, feeling tears threatening to spill. 'No…she can't die. I can't have that…I…I…' It was at that moment that he realized his feelings for Tima: he loved her. He loved her so much that the thought of losing her was too much to handle. Taking her hand in both of his, he lowered his head even further and started to pray quietly. "Gods…hear my plea. Do not take her away from me. I beg you…take my life instead. Please…I love her."

Said too quietly for anyone to hear, he looked up and started to stroke her hair. Seeing enough, Seth came forward. "Pharaoh, can I speak to you?"

Atem sighed, not startled that the High Priest was there. "Seth, now is not the time."

Tarra nuzzled Tima's head as a surge of pain passed through the Hebrew's body. Can't you see she's dying?

Atem winced at the thought. "Tarra, don't say that."

Seth sighed and shook his head. "Itami, go to Tima. I need to speak to the Pharaoh."

Itami flew over to Tima and started to nuzzle her shaking arm. Atem did not want to leave Tima but Tarra's eyes sparkled at him. Don't worry. We'll be with her.

Atem took a deep breath and went to Seth. "What is it?"

Seth took Atem to the corner of the room. "I don't mean any disrespect but what are you doing? You're getting broken over a servant girl."

Atem looked at Tima. "She's not just a servant girl…she's more than that."

Seth raised his eyebrow to that. He suspected what Atem was talking about but he wanted to hear it. "My Pharaoh…what are you saying?"

Atem sighed; he knew he had to tell Seth to get him on his side before he told the entire Royal Court. "Seth…I am in love with her."

Thanks to Itami nuzzling Tima's head, the Hebrew did not hear his confession. But Seth did and he was livid. "No…you cannot be serious!"

Atem glared at Seth. "It is true. I love Tima more than anything in my life."

Seth shook his head in disbelief. "How can you do this, Pharaoh? You know you need to marry Roxanna to keep us from warring with Greece!"

Atem shook his head back. "I did not ask for this to happen but it has. All we can do is accept this…"

Seth blew up on that, temporarily forgetting that he was talking to the Pharaoh. "Accept this? You're risking throwing your kingdom into war with a powerful nation because you could not honor the commitment that you were given! And for what? A simple peasant slave? You know that you can't be with her! They are beneath us!"

Atem looked away and tried to ignore Seth's yells. After all, Seth had a right to be upset since Atem was risking a war to be with the one he truly loved. But when Seth said that he could not be with Tima because she was a slave, the Pharaoh glared at Seth and said without thinking, "Then I guess Kisara never meant a thing to you! If you can be with Kisara, I can be with Tima!"

Growling loudly in anger, Seth grabbed Atem by the neck and pinned him to the wall, intent on punching him. Atem braced himself for impact but it never came: Itami quickly flew over to Seth and gripped the fist, freezing him. Seth, don't do it! He didn't mean it! Don't hit the Pharaoh!

Seth stood still, trying to catch his breath. Opening his eyes, Atem breathed a sigh of relief that Itami stopped Seth and then realized what he said. "Seth, I am so sorry. I didn't mean to go there."

Seth let go of Atem's neck and straightened up, his head lowered so his eyes were shadowed. Kisara was a foreign peasant that Seth took in as a slave about a year ago after he saw how horribly the villagers treated her because of her light-colored skin, white hair, and blue eyes. After having her around for a few months and realizing that she was the same girl he rescued from bandits when he was young, they became romantically involved secretly. However, their relationship was not to be; one day, a group of Nubians attacked the kingdom. In the midst of the battle, Seth was attacked and his Ka could not get to him in time but Kisara, who slipped out because she was worried about him, took the hit for him. Because the wound was so deep and Itami could not get to her in time, Kisara died in his arms. Seth never fully recovered from that loss; he merely shut it away, which is why he erupted the way he did when Atem said what he did. Atem took a step forward, worried about his comrade/friend. "Seth? Are you all right?"

Seth merely mumbled, "Do what you want," and left, keeping his head down. Itami looked at Atem as she flew out. I'll talk to him.

Atem nodded; he felt guilty that he stooped that low with that statement. But Tima's groans of pain and comments about not being able to see reminded him of why he was so upset. His heart breaking again, he laid down against her back and held her for a good hour. Her condition continued to worsen; Death was just waiting for the right moment. During the hour, the Royal Court tried to stop by to see why the Pharaoh was in the hospital wing but Kiko, who was standing guard at the door so Lapidos could go and try to not raise suspicion with Roxanna, kept them out. Atem was grateful to that; he did not want to be disturbed. But there was one visitor who refused to leave after Kiko tried to tell her that Atem was fine and just needed to be alone. "Come on, blondie. Just let in your future Queen now."

Atem's skin bristled at the sound of Roxanna's voice. Sitting up, he stroked Tima's cheek and told Tarra, "Keep an eye on her."

Tarra nodded. Atem…don't go overboard. Save that for the trial.

Atem nodded and, after wiping his eyes to look somewhat presentable, opened the door to look at Roxanna, who brightened up at the sight of Atem. "There you are! I've been looking for you everywhere."

Kiko growled silently as Atem crossed his arms. Roxanna raised her eyebrow a little. "What's wrong, Atem-dear?"

Atem immediately snapped, "Do not call me by my name! You have no right! I know what you did to Tima, daughter of Apep!"

Roxanna raised her eyebrow again to the title he called her. Kiko knew exactly what he was calling her: Apep was the god of darkness and chaos to Egyptians. Waving off the insult, Roxanna started to defend herself. "Tima? Why would I do something to a slave?"

Kiko shook her head. "Lapidos told us everything…told us that you poisoned her."

Roxanna immediately shook her head. "I didn't poison her! I'm innocent!"

Kiko shook her head. It was almost sad how pathetic Roxanna looked. Atem growled and narrowed his eyes at her. "I don't have time for this. I know the truth. And, if Tima doesn't survive, which I hope she does, you will be put on trial for murder and the attempted murder of me."

Kiko looked at Atem, surprised that he added the attempted murder charge when Roxanna did no such thing. She then realized why: the murder of a slave had a harsh sentence while the attempted or successful murder of the Pharaoh was punishable by death. Now scared, Roxanna accidentally blurted out, "I'm innocent! I didn't poison her with flowers!"

Kiko and Atem froze at this admission: they got her. Kiko crossed her arms and asked, "If you're so innocent…how did you know how Tima was poisoned?

Roxanna froze as well. She blurted out something that gave away her guilt. Atem turned to go back into the room. The Greek grabbed his arm and he quickly took it back. "Don't touch me…"

Her dark side waking up again, Roxanna tried to tackle Atem but Kiko held her back and called a couple of guards to take her away. They restrained her and Atem calmly told them, "Throw her into the dungeons…for the attempted murder of the Pharaoh."

The guards bowed in respect and took the screaming Greek away. Atem went back in the room and closed the door. Gathering himself, he looked at Tima and paled: she was having trouble breathing; Death was squeezing the life out of her. "No…" He went to her and took her hand, lacing his fingers with her. "No, Tima…please don't leave me…hold on…"

His prayers at first fell on deaf eyes as Tima's breathing became more rapid: she was dying. Tarra let out a sorrowful cry and kept nuzzling her head as Atem started to cry and squeezed her hand a little. "Please, Ra…don't take her…"

Then, suddenly, Tima's body started to glow white. Atem and Tarra pulled back in surprise. Tima's rapid breathing slowed a little as an orb the size of a plate emerged from her body. Seconds later, the orb took the form of a humanoid Ka. It was a female with long hair the color of grain and deep, gentle eyes with an equally matching smile. She was dressed in a long-sleeved white dress and golden tiara. But the most telling feature of her were the six wings on her back. Atem could not believe what he was seeing. "Who…"

The Ka smiled up at her and spoke: "I am Seraphita, the guardian of Tima." She held up a vial and Atem took it. "Have her drink this. It will heal her."

Atem looked at the vial. "How? There is no antidote."

Seraphita simply smiled more in response. With that, she reached down and touched Tima's shoulder. The Hebrew glowed so brightly that Atem and Tarra shielded their eyes. When the light finally died, they could not believe the sight. Seraphita was gone but Tima, while still suffering, was breathing normally, as if time was turned back a few minutes before she started to struggle to breathe. Before Atem could check on her again, he heard Seraphita's voice in his head. Pharaoh Atem, Tima's destiny is linked with yours. I shall protect you and her. However, Tima must not know about me until the time is right.

Atem nodded in understanding and held Tima's head up. "Tima…drink this…"

Since she could not see thanks to the poison, she opened her mouth and waited. He put the vial to his lips and she swallowed it. After a few seconds, though, her eyes bulged and she heaved a few times over the bed's edge. Atem rubbed her back to make her feel better and Tarra nuzzled her, hoping this would work. To their relief, it did: after the fourth heave, she threw up all the poison, expelling it from her system. Sitting up, she started to catch her breath as her vision started to come back. The first thing she saw was Atem looking at her with teary eyes and a look of relief on his face. She asked, "What happened?"

Atem at first did not answer her; he instead hugged her close, crying for joy that she was all right. Tima blinked a little confusion since Seraphita erased the part of her memory where her Ka helped her. Tarra nuzzled Tima's arm. You're all right! You're healed!

Tima nodded, still confused about what happened. Touching Atem's back, she asked, "Atem, why are you…?"

Atem nuzzled her face. "Oh, gods, Tima…I thought I was going to lose you…I thought I was going to lose the person I love the most…"

Tima's eyes widened at his admission. "Atem…did you just…?"

Atem pulled back and held her cheek. "Yes, Tima. I love you…so much that, if I lost you…life would have become meaningless."

Tima's eyes teared up as she touched his hands. "Oh, Atem…I love you too…more than anything."

Atem smiled and held her close with Tima responding to the hug. Tarra smiled at them, happy that her Guardian was happy with someone he truly loved. As they hugged, Tima remembered something: "How will we tell everyone?"

Atem sighed softly. With Roxanna in prison and Seth and Kiko knowing, it was only a matter of time before everyone else found out. But he did not want to worry her since she just recovered from death. "We will discuss it tomorrow, all right? For now, you need to rest."

Tima gripped his arm and looked at him. "Do we have to? They'll take me away…separate us…"

Atem kissed her deeply to silence her. Pulling away, he told her, "Tima, I know this scares you. But I will make this promise to you: if they even try to separate us, I will stop at nothing to get you back." He took her hands in his and continued. "I vow, Tima…as the gods as my witnesses, I will never let anyone take you away. I love you too much to allow that. I shall protect you with every fiber of my being. All right?"

Tima nodded, seeing nothing but truth and love behind his eyes. She hugged him, having him respond. After a minute, though, she loosened her grip from exhaustion. Feeling this, Atem smiled and picked her up in his arms, where she almost immediately fell asleep with her head on his shoulder. Chuckling softly, he then left the hospital wing, making Kiko look up. "Is she…?"

Atem nodded. "She's healed; she's just sleeping. I'm taking her to my room."

Kiko sighed in relief as Atem started the trek to his room. He made it there in seconds, thankfully not running into anyone who would question why he was holding her. Unable to close the door, he went in and lowered her onto the bed. As he was pulling back the sheets to tuck her in, he heard a familiar voice, "She pulled through, I see."

Still feeling guilty about what he said, Atem nodded and tucked in Tima, who curled up in the sheets. "Yes, she did, Seth." He looked up at him and asked, "Where did you go?"

Seth shrugged a little so Itami explained, The Wedju Shrine.

Atem did not need to know anymore. The last thing that Kisara gave Seth was her Ka, a powerful dragon with white scales and blue eyes. Seth vowed to never use it and would only go see it when he was missing Kisara. As Atem started to dress, Seth turned around to give him privacy and asked, "Where is Roxanna?"

"I arrested her. When I confronted her with what Lapidos told us, she attacked me. Kiko will vouch for me."

Seth nodded. He then asked, "Why, my Pharaoh? Why couldn’t you learn to love Roxanna? All this could have been avoided…and we might not have to go to war."

Now dressed in his Pharaoh grab, he went to Seth. "Have you ever doubted me running the kingdom that Ra bestowed to me after my father's passing? Did you not see that the Sennen Pendant chose me as its bearer once I ascended the throne?" Each time, Seth responded with shaking his head no. Atem then asked, "Then why do you doubt me?"

Seth tried to say, "I just remember what your Father wanted…"

Atem stopped him. "He wanted me to be happy with a girl. Therefore, if I were to be with Roxanna, I would be disobeying my father's wishes. Besides, you know that he was against me being involved with this."

Seth had to agree with that. As Atem walked out the balcony to think, Seth then tried to say, "Your Father meant well and we the Royal Court care for your happiness but…"

Atem looked at Seth. "But what? This was all for the Kingdom's good, right?" When Seth nodded, Atem's eyes narrowed. "So the Royal Court expected me to sacrifice my happiness, marry to someone I hardly knew from the beginning and grew to not like, and live a life of misery just for the good to the Kingdom?" He sighed and looked out at the Kingdom. "I'd rather be dead than suffer that way."

Seth could not believe what he was hearing. He did not know that Atem felt this strongly about this. "My Pharaoh…"

"I am sorry, Seth. I love my Kingdom but my happiness comes first…and I am happiest with Tima, like you were with Kisara."

Seth looked away, now understanding. But there was another issue at hand: "Then what are we to do? We will go to war with a powerful nation."

Atem was silent for a moment as he considered his answer. He then looked at Seth and told him the best answer he could come up with: "I will come up with an answer. Trust me as you have for all these years."

Seth bowed and backed into the room as Atem turned and left to attend to his duties as Pharaoh. The High Priest sighed and looked at Tima. "The Pharaoh has spoken…I just hope that it will not lead to the death of us all."
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Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.