Ripples

Revelations and Trials

Moaning softly, Tima woke up to see the sun low in the sky; because of her brush with death, she slept all day. Rubbing her eyes, she sat up and found herself alone in Atem's bed. She hugged herself, remembering how he held and kissed her when he confessed that he loved her. Looking up at the ceiling, she gave silent thanks to God as the door started to open. She looked, hoping that it was Atem; instead, it was Kiko and Nayru instead. "Hey, you're awake!"

Nayru chirped happily, now trusting the Hebrew since she was the one that the Pharaoh loved. You really had us worried, especially since there was no cure for the poison you were given.

Tima's ears perked up at that. "No cure? Then how did I survive?"

Kiko shook her head. "I don't know. It was nothing short of a miracle."

Tima nodded and scratched her head. She was still puzzled about her small lapse in memory. She remembered having trouble breathing and then being able to breathe again and being told by Atem to drink something. She was missing about a minute of time; what happened in that minute? Kiko tilted her head a little as she went over and sat in front of Tima. "You okay?"

Tima nodded. "Yeah, I'm fine. By the way, where is Atem?"

Kiko hesitated at first. She had served wine to Atem and the Court during their meetings throughout the day and noticed the tension in the air. The Court heard that Roxanna was in prison and Seth was the only one who knew why. After the meetings, Atem had Seth tell the Court to return to the throne room at sundown for an emergency meeting to discuss the current affair of the engagement and Roxanna's imprisonment. In fact, that's where she and Lapidos (who was outside) were heading now since they were a witness to Roxanna's evil but they stopped by the room to check Tima. "Atem wants to see me; the Court is having an emergency meeting."

Tima sat up a little. "Emergency meeting? Is everything all right?"

Kiko chuckled. "In our minds, yes. We're just going to discuss what Roxanna did. So don't you worry about a thing."

Tima started to get out of bed. "I want to be a part of it. I mean…I'm the one she tried to kill."

Kiko shook her head and pushed her back onto the bed. "Absolutely not. You're still recovering from your brush with the White Death so you need your rest."

"But…"

"No buts; you're staying in bed and that's final." Hearing Tima whine, Kiko sighed and looked at her Hebrew friend. "Tima, I'm going to be honest with you: Atem wants to wait for you to be completely healed before he reveals his feelings for you to the Court and the kingdom. That way, they won't be overloaded with too many surprises all at once. You understand, right?"

Tima nodded and curled up with the blankets. She suspected that the Court would want to deal with Roxanna's trial first and the revelation of the relationship would cause them to get rid of the Hebrew. Besides, Tima's limbs were not fully back to normal after they went numb from the Poison Hemlock. Kiko looked up and saw Lapidos peeking into the room. "I need to get going. We want to have this meeting before the sun sets."

Tima nodded again. The Cetria started to leave but could not without hugging the Hebrew. "I'm so glad you're all right. You had us scared for a while…but you're all right. The Holy obviously has plans for you."

Tima smiled and hugged the blond. "Thank you. I think you're right. Now go; you don't want to be late." The blond smiled and left with Nayru and Lapidos.

---

Minutes later, Atem sat on his throne, waiting for the Royal Court to arrive. He was nervous about how they would react to the news that Roxanna would be tried for her attempted-murder and her attacking him. He assumed that Aknadin would be the one who would be the hardest to convince since he was the oldest and, therefore, was brought up on traditions. The rest of the Court might need convincing as well but Atem knew that they wanted what was best for the Pharaoh and the kingdom and that they did not like Roxanna; that fact alone would work in his favor. Tarra, who was on Atem's shoulder, nuzzled him gently. You're dazed. Are you all right?

Atem smiled and scratched her head. "I am, Tarra. This needs to be done…I just don't think it will be pleasant."

Tarra leaned into Atem's scratches. That wouldn't surprise me but, after all this, you can be with the one you truly love.

Atem smiled at that; he could not believe that he could be open about his feelings for Tima. Hearing the door open, the Pharaoh looked up and saw that Seth was the first to arrive with Itami on his shoulder. "My Pharaoh."

Atem nodded his hello. "Seth." As Seth came up to the throne, Atem asked him, "Do I have your loyalty in this?"

Seth looked at Atem in surprise. "Pharaoh?"

Atem looked him in the eyes. "Right now, only you and Kiko know about me and Tima and why Roxanna is in prison. The rest of the Court will more than likely agree that Roxanna is not the one for me and put her on trial for her attack on me. However, they might not think that she'll need to be punished for attempting to kill Tima…and they will be less accepting of my relationship with her. So I need to know that I have your support and loyalty in this."

Seth took a moment to think. He knew that he was one of the people who really pushed for Atem to marry Roxanna to unite Egypt and Greece. However, after seeing how she really was, he knew that she could not take the throne. As for Atem's relationship with Tima, he accepted it now because this relationship was no different than the relationship he had with Kisara: she was a peasant as Tima is and Seth still loved her as Atem loved Tima. Burying the pain that he felt about the death of Kisara, he nodded. "Yes. I pledge my loyalty to your decision."

Atem smiled softly as Itami nuzzled Seth's temple to comfort him. As Kiko and Lapidos walked in, Atem added, "I also need your promise that you'll keep quiet about the relationship. I want Tima to heal and the Court to have time to accept the news about Roxanna before I reveal the relationship."

Seth nodded as Kiko went up to the throne and stood next to it, Nayru on her shoulder and looking down at Tarra. Lapidos bowed before Atem and then stood, waiting for the Court. A couple minutes later, Shimon was the first to arrive and immediately said, "My Pharaoh, there are rumors spreading like locusts about you placing Roxanna under arrest."

Atem simply said, "I did." Seeing Shimon's eyes widen over his veil, the Pharaoh said, "All will be explained when the rest arrive."

Shimon was confused but accepted the answer as the rest of the Court filed in. Isis was the first to arrive and she appeared relatively calm. Atem correctly guessed that her Sennen Tauk showed her a vision; he just wished that he knew what the vision was. Karim, Shada, and Mahad were close behind Isis and Atem knew that they would accept what he had to say because they were fiercely loyal to him, Mahad especially. The last to arrive, Aknadin, was the one that the Pharaoh worried the most about. What gave him a glimmer of hope was that Aknadin would ultimately agree that Roxanna was not the girl for him if she would attack him like she did. When they all stood in front of Atem, Mahad was the first to speak up. "My Pharaoh…are the words we have heard true?"

Atem nodded. "Yes, Mahad. I had Roxanna thrown in the dungeons."

The Court sans Seth was shocked; they had hoped that the rumors were just that, rumors and wishes from slaves who did not like her. Aknadin asked, "What is her crime?"

Atem calmly explained, "Attacking me and the attempted murder of my slave."

Feeling the need to be a witness, Kiko nodded and stepped forward. "We confronted her with the evidence that Lapidos provided for us and, when he left to check Tima, she lunged at him. It looked like she planned to strangle him."

Being loyalists, Karim and Mahad tensed up at the mention of someone attacking the Pharaoh. While disgusted with what Roxanna said, Aknadin wanted to avoid going to war with Greece. "Kiko, could you have been mistaken by Roxanna's actions?"

Kiko tensed up; she never liked Aknadin because of how deep into traditions he was. She was about to snap at him but Lapidos took a step forward. "Sir, if I may, while I was not there to witness, I can say that Roxanna is now capable to attacking the Pharaoh. I've known her since she was a child and I've always known that she was never in favor of punishing criminals by death. Now, for her to punish an innocent slave for no reason…this is not like her at all. I fear that she has turned to the dark side."

Seth stated, "If that is the case, we can't have a Queen like her. While we cannot have her because of her attack on the Pharaoh alone, her attempted murder of the slave known as Tima is reason enough."

The Court looked at Seth; why was he putting much emphasis on what happened to Tima? Stepping up, Isis had a question of her own. "My Pharaoh, while I agree with Seth that Roxanna is not fit to be Queen because of the attack, I must know: would you still be saying these things if she did not try to kill your slave?"

Atem looked at Isis and his eyes widened a little at the sparkle in her eyes: she knew. The Sennen Tauk gave her a vision the day before of two shadowy figures, one of which had six wings and the vision became clear when the meeting was announced. While she was surprised by what she saw, she decided to accept the vision and hearing the reason for Roxanna's imprisonment helped her trust the vision even more. Atem hoped that her calmness meant that his decision would not lead to their downfall. Aknadin looked at Atem. "Isis has a valid question. With all due respect, Pharaoh, it would seem that we are focused more on her attempted murder on the slave than on her attacking you."

Kiko looked at Aknadin and said sternly, "We should. If this is how she treats an innocent slave who serves the Pharaoh, what's to stop her from going after you? Or Isis? Or anyone who is close to him, like the Court or his friend Mana?"

Aknadin bristled mentally; he never got along with Kiko because of how informal she was with Atem. Mahad nodded. "I agree with Kiko. With Roxanna in the state that she is in, she is not fit to rule."

Agreeing but understanding Aknadin's questions, Shada asked, "Where does this leave us? Roxanna's father will be here for the wedding, which is thirteen suns away."

Seth spoke up sternly, "Obviously, the wedding is off."

Atem nodded. "Agreed. I will send Tarra to deliver a message to Roxanna's father, telling him that the wedding is off and that she will go on trial for her crimes."

The Court was not happy with what became of this: Roxanna came from a powerful country, one they wanted as an ally, not as an enemy, but Roxanna could not rule in their country because of her high crimes. Wanting to know, Lapidos asked, "If I may, my Pharaoh…where is Tima?"

Atem smiled softly. "She's in my room. I have her there so I can keep a close eye on her while she heals."

Shimon thought of something. "My Pharaoh, you must consider what will happen if Roxanna's father disputes your decision to put her in the dungeons. After all, he may claim her innocence and try to pressure you into marrying her."

Having thought of that during the meetings earlier, Atem answered honestly. "I have considered that. If he disputes her imprisonment, I will release her to him on the grounds that she be returned to Greece immediately. But I will not bow to the pressure to marry her. If he still wants to unite our kingdoms, we can discuss a peace treaty that will benefit both sides."

The Court was not sure about this because, if Roxanna was this way, what was her father like? Keeping the faith, Seth nodded. "We will stand by your decision."

Atem smiled. "So let it be written, so let it be done."

With that quote, the Court knew that the Pharaoh had spoken and they had to carry out his wishes; they just hoped that Roxanna's father would take it without a fight.

---

Five days later, Atem woke up early and looked down at Tima, who was sleeping in his arms. He smiled softly and kissed her forehead, relieved that she was fully healed from being poisoned; he had worked with her every night to her limbs back to full working order. He chuckled silently, remembering how she tried to keep him from doing so because he, the Pharaoh, should not do such things to her, a slave. Atem always told her to not say such things and that he had every right to help her because he loved her. What he did not tell her was that he wanted to show his love in another way; he planned to tell her when she woke up. He then sighed and laid his head back on the pillow. Today was also the day that Roxanna's father would arrive from Greece. After the meeting five days ago, he sent Tarra to Greece with a written message that explained Roxanna's crimes, knowing that a phoenix could travel faster than any other bird. She returned two days later and told Atem that, as soon as he read the message, Roxanna's father said that he was coming to Egypt and left as soon as the sun rose. The Pharaoh knew that this needed to be done but Atem was still worried about how the Greek would react. Feeling Tima twitch a little, his thoughts were interrupted to his delight as he looked down at her. "Good morning."

Tima looked up at him, keeping her head on his chest, and smiled. "Morning, Atem."

Atem stroked her hair gently. "Have a good sleep?"

Tima nodded and started to rub his chest with her hand. "I did. Did you?"

Atem sighed and laid his head back on the pillow. "Not really. As you know, Roxanna's father is coming today to get the story about what his daughter did." Feeling her shiver in fear, he smiled gently and rubbed her back. "Don't worry, he won't harm you. I will protect you…both from you and from those who might want to separate us."

Tima sat up and looked into his eyes. "Will someone separate us? I mean…they might just look at our statuses and not see what we have."

Atem reached up and stroked her hair. "Don't worry yourself about that. After today, we can be together; no more hiding in secret."

Tima smiled at the idea, which made Atem realize that he had to tell her. Sitting up with her, he for a moment thought it was fitting that she was hearing a white nightgown and leaned forward to kiss her cheek. He then whispered in her ear, "I want you to be by my side…"

Tima blushed at the feeling of his breath on her ear. "As a servant?"

Atem chuckled and shook his head. "No…not as a servant. No more will you be a servant." Pulling back to look at her, he took her hands in his and confessed, "I want you as my Queen."

Tima's eyes widened as a tear slid down her face. "Atem…"

Atem smiled and wiped the tear away before touching her cheek. "I love you more than life itself and I want you to be my equal. And, by making you my Queen…I want you as my wife as well."

More tears spilled from her eyes as she smiled and nodded. "Yes…yes, Atem…I will be your wife and Queen."

Atem smiled and hugged her tightly, with her responding, before kissing her deeply. Tima kissed him back, silently thanking God for everything He gave her. After a minute, however, their kiss was interrupted by a familiar "ahem." Atem looked up and playfully glared as Tima hid her face in his chest. "Do you mind?"

Holding a tray of food, Kiko grinned. "No, not at all. Don't stop on my account." Atem rolled his eyes as the Cetria remembered the other reason why she was there. "Roxanna's father's boat is on the horizon."

Tima shivered a little out of instinct; even though she was safe from him, she was still scared of Hypatios from how he treated the slaves. Feeling her shiver, Atem rubbed her back. "Don't worry, my dear; he won't be able to harm you."

Tima smiled as he pulled away and dressed. Kiko held up the platter. "What about breakfast?"

Atem took a loaf of bread. "You can give the rest for the real future Queen." With that, he left.

Kiko looked at Tima with wide eyes. "Did he just…?"

Tima nodded, her smile growing. "He just asked me to be his Queen…and I said yes."

Setting the platter aside, Kiko ran to Tima and picked her up in a hug, laughing with the Hebrew. "Oh, Tima! I'm so happy for you!"

Tima smiled as she was put back on solid ground. Before eating her breakfast, she grabbed the dress that was on the ground, only to have Kiko squeak loudly. "No, no! Don't even think of wearing that!"

Tima blinked in surprise. "Why not?"

"You are the Pharaoh's fiancé! You have to dress the part!"

Tima blushed a little. "But…I have nothing like that."

Realizing the problem, Kiko left for a moment and came back with an armful of clothes that looked familiar to Tima. Before the Hebrew could ask, Kiko shrugged and said innocently, "What? Roxanna's never going to wear them again. Plus, this'll do before we get you own clothes."

Tima sulked a little but agreed.

---

In the throne room, Atem and the Court were waiting for the arrival of Hypatios. While they waited, Atem decided that it was time. Getting the attention for the Court, the Pharaoh asked, "You all trust me, correct?"

Suspecting what Atem was going to confess, Seth looked at him and nodded. "Of course, my Pharaoh. You were chosen by the Sennen Pendant and have never stirred us wrong."

Mahad agreed. "You have been a wise and just Pharaoh. How can we not trust you?"

Before Atem could answer, the door opened to reveal Kiko and a shy Tima. Atem's eyes widened; Tima looked like a goddess. She wore a white, silk, sleeveless dress that had an emerald in the middle. To go with her dress, she wore gold sandals, gold bangles, and a gold arm band on her left arm. Her hair was combed and cleaned with a gold clip on the side. Aknadin's face scrunched up in surprise. "What is the meaning of this?"

Seeing her nervous, Atem gestured for Tima to come to him. As she walked to him, still very shy, Atem explained, "I have not been completely honest with you, my friends." When Tima came up to him, he took her hand and said flat out, "Tima will become my new Queen because I am in love with her."

The Court, sans Seth and Isis (to Atem's surprise), were shocked: the Pharaoh was in love with a slave and wanted to marry her? As Tima gently sat on the arm of the throne, Aknadin spoke up. "My Pharaoh! If I may, this is ridiculous! You know that you can only marry royalty!"

Atem gave Aknadin a stern look. "Traditions come and go and the heart does not care about traditions."

Before Aknadin could speak, Isis said, "She is the true Queen." Everyone looked at her in surprise as she explained, "My Sennen Tauk gave me a vision suns ago, before the emergency meeting. The woman with the six wings, I do not know who she is. However, I could see Tima dressed as the Queen and had a feeling from the image; it told me…'this is right.'"

Recognizing the winged-figure as the Ka known as Seraphita, Atem was relieved that Isis saw a good vision about his relationship. Hearing that was just salt on the "wound" that Aknadin felt since this went against everything the kingdom went by. Being just as accepting but wanting the full answer, Mahad asked for permission to speak freely and, when he got it, asked, "What is it about her that made you choose her?"

Atem looked up at Tima and caressed her cheek, making Tima close her eyes and lean into his hand. "Ever since I met her, I learned a lot about Tima. She's not an ordinary woman…she's special, with a kind heart and a strong faith. Despite her being teased by the Greeks because of her belief, she stayed strong in her faith. Can you tell me someone else who can follow their beliefs and stay by it?"

Mahad smiled and closed his eyes. "No, my Pharaoh. I have yet to meet a foreign person like that."

Tima smiled at Mahad, sensing that she could trust him, especially since she remembered Kiko telling her that Mahad was the one that Atem saved from the snake when they were children. Seeing Shada and Karim being quiet, the Hebrew decided to take a chance. "You can tell us your views."

The Court was surprised that she spoke and Atem smiled, glad that she did. Karim looked at the Sennen Scales. "The Scales have been perfectly balanced since she walked in the throne room. There's no darkness in her heart."

While Tima expected Karim to say his personal views, Atem smiled again at the answer. He then looked at Shada, who said, "My Pharaoh, it is not us, the Royal Court, to choose who you may be happy with. We are to serve you and see that you are happy. I can see that this young woman brings you happiness."

Shimon, who had remained silent and listened, agreed, smiling at Tima through his veil. "The feelings of the Pharaoh help decide the path of the kingdom. If this woman makes you feel happy, the kingdom will be blissful as well and that is what we strive for, after all."

Aknadin was now outnumbered. Aside from Shimon, he was all that was left of the Court that suggested to Aknamkanon that Atem marry Roxanna to unite the countries. While he knew that Seth was for the marriage at first, he sensed that his mind changed. Still, he wanted to try so he asked, "My Pharaoh…she is not of royalty. This could cause a controversy among the people or with our allies."

The Court sensed what Aknadin was trying to do; Atem knew as well and answered honestly: "I do not care, Aknadin. I love Tima and I have faith in both of us, faith that we will overcome any hardship. No matter what will happen, I will not allow us to be separated."

Tima smiled and took his hand. Seeing this, Seth nodded. "We will follow the Pharaoh's example in leading into a new era. As High Priest and the Pharaoh's right hand man, I will personally see to it that Tima is crowned Queen."

The Court sans Aknadin agreed with Seth: Tima was to become the new Queen. Tima smiled at them and bowed her head at them. "Thank you…for allowing Atem and I to be together."

The Court bowed their heads in respect to the soon-to-be Queen, making Tima blush a little. Aknadin, however, was silently against it because royalty has never married non-royalty in Khment's history. Seeing his face, Atem asked sternly, "Do you have something to say? Speak freely."

Aknadin crossed his arms. "With all due respect, my Pharaoh, what will you do if Roxanna's father threatens us with war because you are marrying a slave instead of his daughter?"

As if on cue, Hypatios walked in through the door with a couple of Greek guards behind him. At the sight of him, Tima started to tremble, prompting Atem to rub her arm and looked at Hypatios. Dressed in a long, white tunic with a white toga with blue borders, it was the face of the thirty-eight year old politician that stood out the most to Atem; he could see why Tima and the other slaves were nervous around him. An oval-shaped face topped with brown, curly hair, piercing but disapproving silver-blue eyes over dark circles from a stressful life, a sharp nose, and a small frown, he looked like the type of man who would give you an emotionless look while striking you down. Ignoring Tima, Hypatios kneeled down his knee. "My Pharaoh."

Atem nodded. "Rise, Hypatios. We have much to discuss."

Hypatios stood to his feet and immediately asked, "Where is my daughter?"

His arms crossed, Seth answered, "She is in the dungeons."

Not looking at Seth but still hearing him, Hypatios said, "I would like to see her."

Atem agreed and let two guards go to retrieve the young Greek. The Pharaoh then stated, "I regret that we had to meet in this way."

Hypatios nodded, his emotion never changing. "Indeed. I had hoped that we would meet when you wedded Roxanna but your note said that you had no intention to marry her now."

"That is correct. The Priests and I agree that she cannot be trusted to rule after she tried to kill my slave."

Hypatios smirked and chuckled, still ignoring Tima (which annoyed Atem). His true side showing, he said in an almost amused voice, "Forgive me, my Pharaoh, but what is the life of one slave? Especially the foreign one that my daughter was gracious enough to give you. What do you care if she dies?"

Seth gripped the Sennen Rod tighter, seeing where Roxanna got her attitude from. "You will watch your tongue when speaking about the future Queen of Khment!"

Hearing that, Hypatios looked at Tima and chuckled again. "Future Queen of Khment? This slave? What is the meaning of this, my Pharaoh?"

Atem squeezed Tima's hand. "Fate had a different plan for us. Tima will become my Queen because…I am in love with her."

Hypatios was stunned, not expecting this at all. "In love with her? She is a slave!" Catching himself, he collected himself and continued, "My Pharaoh, I gave you my daughter to unite the two countries and you throw them away for a fling with the slave?"

Tima lowered her head a little, prompting Atem stroked her cheek. "I knew the risks; I do not want war with Greece. However, my heart is set on Tima and nothing will change that." Giving Hypatios a hard look, he said, "If you understood how I felt, you would see reason."

Hypatios wanted to protest but he saw the look in Atem's eyes when he looked at Tima. Hypatios had the same look when he used to look at his first and only love, Roxanna's mother. The Greek loved her deeply and never fully recovered when she died due to complications from giving birth to Roxanna. Burying the sting he felt when he thought of his late wife, he studied the connection between Atem and Tima; even he could not deny that the love between them was real. Noticing Hypatios going quiet, Atem asked, "Is everything all right?"

Reverting back to his emotionless state, he nodded. "What will happen to my daughter?"

Seth said sternly, "She will be put on trial for the attempted murder of the future Queen and for attacking the Pharaoh. The punishment is death."

Hypatios did not like the sound of that. "Is there any way to save her?"

Seth started to say no but Tima surprised everyone by saying, "If she repents, yes."

Everyone in the room looked at Tima in surprise. She smiled and nodded. "If she repents and asks for forgiveness, we'll let you take her home."

Seth looked at Tima in shock. "She almost killed you and you're giving her a chance? That makes no sense."

Tima smiled and rubbed her arm. "I understand why you say that; my people believe in revenge. But I don't think God is like that; I truly believe that God preaches forgiveness. Besides, I believe that those who commit revenge are the same as the person who committed the act against them."

Atem smiled and rubbed Tima's back, making her smile widen. Hypatios could not believe what he was hearing: after the hell that he and Roxanna put her through, he expected her to be spiteful and out for revenge and here she was, being the exact opposite in being ready to forgive the wrongdoers. He got ready to apologize when the guards and a helping Lapidos returned with a screaming and thrashing Roxanna. The week in the dungeons left her almost unrecognizable and let her dark side to completely take over her: her dress was torn from her temper, her hair was wild, and she looked possessed. Hypatios could not believe it: this was the daughter that he spoiled because she looked so much like her mother? "Roxanna!"

Roxanna stopped thrashing and looked up. Seeing her father, her eyes widened in shock. "Daddy?"

The politician's heart broke. "What happened to you?"

Roxanna looked away, embarrassed by how she looked. "They threw me in the dungeons for no reason."

Mahad shook his head. Were it not for her high crimes, he would feel sorry for her. Seth hissed, "We do not throw innocents into the dungeons."

Roxanna glared at him and then noticed who was behind him: Tima, sitting next to Atem. Her anger growing, she tried to lunge at Tima but was held back by the guards. "Get away from him! He's mine!"

Tima turned her head away, which infuriated the Greek even more. She continued to try to break away from the guards to attack Tima. After a minute, Seth let the guards take her back into the hall. The Court knew that he could have told the guards to remove Roxanna immediately but sensed that the High Priest let her stay for a while to deliver the message to Hypatios. The method worked: the politician looked at Atem, stunned. "This can't be happening…"

Atem sighed. "I'm so sorry, Hypatios."

Tima said nothing, not wanting to look at Hypatios until he apologized to her. Karim looked at the tilted scales. "Her heart is filled with envy and hatred. It is enough to produce a Ka."

Seth nodded in agreement and looked at Shada. "Do you think the Ka can be removed?"

Shada shook his head in ignorance. "It depends on how deep her hatred is. If the Ka already bonded with her soul…"

Both Hypatios and Tima had no idea what they were talking about. Atem nodded to the Court and Seth called for the guards to bring Roxanna back into the room to go on trial. This time, the guards shackled her wrists together to try to get her to calm down more. The Greek immediately zeroed in on Tima, who looked away, and hissed, "Look at me, slave! You have no right to look away from me!"

Karim ordered, "You will show proper respect to the future Queen of Khment!"

Not putting two and two together, Roxanna glared at him and held up her wrist shackles. "Some respect you're giving her! Now let me go!"

Now feeling horrible at how she was acting, Hypatios explained as gently as he could, "You are not going to be Queen…Tima is."

Roxanna's eyes widened and narrowed in anger. Spitting at the ground, she hissed, "Bitch…"

With that remark, even Aknadin was angered: as much as he did not like that a slave was going to be Queen, he knew that he had no say in denying it and that Tima did not deserve the insult she got. Atem's anger was especially boiling: how dare Roxanna insult his beloved like that. He wanted to say something when he felt Tima touch his hand. Looking at her, he watched as Tima looked at Roxanna with a frown on her face. "That's enough, Roxanna. You're making a fool of yourself and disrespecting yourself and your father."

Roxanna hissed at her, her eyes narrowing even further. "You bitch…get away from my man! You stole him and the throne from me!"

Tima shook her head, still keeping calm. "I did not steal anything; fate just had a different plan. Now the best thing you can do is ask for forgiveness and leave with your father. Don't pass up this opportunity."

Roxanna screamed in fury and tried to get free from the shackles; her struggles grew when Hypatios nodded at Lapidos and Lapidos grabbed Roxanna from behind, trying to calm her. Roxanna then sealed her fate when she yelled, "You little bitch! I should have given you a stronger dose of those flowers!"

Hypatios paled, knowing what Roxanna was talking about. "You poisoned Tima with Poison Hemlock?!"

Roxanna paled as she froze, realizing that she just confessed. Feeling Lapidos pull away from her, she looked at Hypatios, who looked at her with the emotionless look he had when he entered the throne room for the first time. "You are no longer my daughter."

Roxanna's face fell as tears spilled. "Daddy…"

Hypatios looked away as the Royal Court surrounded Roxanna: it was time for the trial to begin. Looking at the six, Roxanna asked, "What…?"

Atem told Roxanna with a strong voice, "Roxanna, your crime will be judged by the Sennen Items!"

The Greeks and Tima did not understand what that meant. They soon found out: Shada held up his Sennen Key. "With the Sennen Key, I will look into her heart!"

Roxanna froze, feeling her heart being read. Tima's eyes widened; she had never seen anything like this and it frightened her a little. After a minute of reading, Shada had to pull back. "There is nothing left by darkness…but we have a problem." Looking at Seth, he confirmed, "It is as we feared: her Ka has attached to her soul."

Hypatios looked at Atem. "What does that mean?"

Atem gave Hypatios a sympathetic look. "It means we can't save her."

Shimon explained, "The Ka is the spirit that reflects the nature of the person that they come from. We cannot control an evil Ka and it can't be removed like a regular Ka. I'm sorry but she has to be killed."

Roxanna's eyes widened when she heard that. "No…you wouldn't! You can't!"

Hypatios looked away, feeling depressed. He hated that he would be losing another member of his family, especially his link to his late wife. However, he sensed that the Court was doing this for the greater good, not to get back at her. Looking at Roxanna, Seth said, "Roxanna, for your crimes and harboring an evil Ka, your sentence is death."

Roxanna was stunned. However, her look twisted to pure evil as her evil side took over. "I will not…let you kill me!"

Suddenly, her head lowered so that her eyes were shadowed and a dark aura surrounded her, making the Sennen Items react to the evil. Tima recoiled in fear; she felt like she was looking the devil in the eye. Getting scared, Hypatios demanded, "What's going on?"

Seth growled. "It's more powerful than we expected."

The Ka started to form a shape: it was a blue-skinned human-formed Ka with pointy ear and black, slanted eyes. It had black hair but it had patches of baldness, as if the Ka ripped out her hair. It was wearing a black dress that was extremely tight on her, as if the dress melted onto its skin. But the most telling part of the Ka was the broken doll it was holding in its arms. Atem sat up straight and ordered, "Don’t let it attack!"

Mahad nodded and a stone appeared behind Mahad, the craving of a magician on it. The spirit of Mahad's Ka came out and faced the dark Ka. Mahad ordered, "Magus! Bind the Ka!"

The Ka used its magic and made rings to bind Roxanna's Ka. Mahad thought he had it but the Ka broke the rings and clutched Roxanna from behind. Roxanna looked up slowly, showing a dazed but evil look in her eyes and she hissed, "He's mine…"

Then, without warning, the Ka disappeared, taking Roxanna with her. Everyone was in shock: how could the girl escape with the help of her Ka? Outraged, Atem stood from his throne and ordered, "Tell the guards to search the palace and the kingdom! Don't let her escape!"

Agreeing, the Royal Court left to alert the guards. However, Atem stopped Isis. "Isis, wait a moment. I have a special duty for you. Since Tima is going to be my Queen…I think she deserves to wear it."

Knowing that Atem was talking about, Isis smiled and took Tima into another room. Feeling better, Tima looked at Isis and asked, "Where are we going?"

Isis said, "You will see." Soon, they came to a room that had an altar with a box in the center. Isis led Tima to the altar. "In here, when the Pharaoh chooses a woman who is suitable for his Queen, she wears the Queen's Pendant."

Tima blinked a little until her eyes widened in awe at the necklace that Isis pulled out of the box. The chain was gold and it held a beautiful diamond that was held in place by golden wings. Turning to Tima, the priestess explained, "The Goddess Isis protects and guides women; her wings will protect you until and after you are crowned Queen and the necklace will serve as a sign that you are royalty. I know that this might be against your beliefs but it would do us such an honor if you would wear it."

Tima knew that her faith prohibited having false idols but the necklace provided a few loopholes: it was a sign of royalty and it was a figurine of the goddess. So the Hebrew nodded with a smile.

---

Left alone with the Pharaoh, Hypatios looked at Atem and bowed his head in shame. Having seen how Roxanna turned to evil, he felt horrible. "My Pharaoh…I am sorry for this disgrace."

Atem shook his head and sat back down. "It's not your fault. Roxanna has chosen her path; sadly, it is the path of darkness."

Wanting to cling to hope, Hypatios looked up and asked, "Can she be found?"

Atem sighed and decided to be honest with the politician; he deserved that much. "If she is not found within the next three suns…then the desert has claimed her life."

Hypatios nodded. "Very well. If it is all right with you, I will stay for those three suns."

Atem agreed. "If you insist. You can stay in a guest room." As Hypatios tried to calm himself, Atem brought up, "I still want to have a peaceful agreement between our countries. If I may suggest, a peace treaty among our countries is the best solution to have."

Thinking it over, Hypatios nodded. "I agree, that is the best idea. That should have been done instead of a union marriage. While we wait to hear if my daughter is found, you and I can make up the treaty and I will deliver it to the Caesar."

Atem nodded as the door opened and Isis and Tima returned. Atem's eyes lit up at the sight of the Queen's necklace around Tima's necklace; it was even more special to him because the last person to wear it was his mother. Gesturing Tima forward, Atem hugged her gently once she was in reach. Seeing the two so much in love, Hypatios felt guilty and cleared his throat, getting Tima's attention. "Slave…" he caught himself, "Tima…I apologize for what my daughter and I have done to you."

Tima's eyes widened in surprise. "Sir…"

"I should have treated you like a person when you worked under me and I should have taught my daughter to do the same." Getting down on one knee, he crossed his left arm across his chest and he bowed his head. "Please forgive me."

Tima could not believe it: the man that she feared, the man who abused her, was asking for forgiveness. Smiling softly, she nodded. "You are forgiven."

Hypatios stood and left with a servant who arrived to announce that Hypatios' room was ready. Left alone, Tima looked at Atem and smiled. "Is this it? Are we free?"

Atem smiled and nodded. "Yes…we don't have to hide anymore, my Queen."

Tima smiled and kissed him deeply. Finally, after losing everything, she was finally free to be happy with the man she loved. Little did they know that they were being watched: Seth came back to announce that the guards were looking for Roxanna and saw the two together. While he was happy for them, he was also jealous since he also had a relationship with a servant and his ended with tragedy. Thinking of Kisara, his heart stung a little as he remembered that he vowed to never love another after losing his white-haired angel. However, little did he know that Fate had a different story for him…

The three days came and left and Roxanna was not found so Hypatios left with the peace treaty and a heavy heart, hoping that Roxanna did not suffer in the desert. However, the palace did not know that, the night after the trial, a caravan left before it could be searched…
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