Mahad hadn't been lying. They noticed no change in him after he came back. Mana couldn't even figure out where he'd gone. Atem had been worried, despite Mahad's promise. They saw no effects of his trip, though he'd assured the Prince that he'd been sucessful. Mana tried to get him to tell her what he did. He stubbernly refused, so she tried to get the Prince to ask him. Mahad wouldn't deny him. Atem also refused. What ever Mahad had done, Mahad was happy with the result, and it didn't mess him up in any way. That was good enough for the Prince, he didn't need or want the details if Mahad didn't want to share them.
Mana found herself wishing more and more that life could go back to the way it was when they were young. When Mahad was about twenty he took in a few more apprentices, putting her in a class. They still had solo lessons, but none of the other students knew about that.
The Prince was spending a lot of time with his father. They were happy for him, but still didn't like being separate. Mahad, naturally, got to spend a lot more time with the Prince than Mana did, and she was not happy about this one bit.
"I feel like I never see you any more." She wined. Atem tried to stifle a chuckle. It was one of the few times all three managed to be together for more than long enough to just say hi. They had decided to hide in the back of the library hoping no one would find them.
"Mana, I see you at least once a day." He reminded her. Mahad just rolled his eyes.
"Yes, for long enough to say hello." She complained.
"Not true and you know it." Mahad had an amused look on his face.
"You are enjoying bugging me." Mana gave a fustrated yell. "You both are so annoying!" They just looked at each other and smiled.
"Calm down, Mana. I promise this will only last until my lessons are done." He finally gaver her a serious look. "I do not know about Mahad, but I will have much more free time after that."
"When is that?" She asked looking hopeful.
"Normally they last until I am about twenty summers," She moaned. "But Shimon said I will probably get done faster than that, I am quite ahead. They started me early due to how eager I was when I was younger."
"But you are only seventeen summers now." She dropped her head into her arms.
"It is better than nothing." He shrugged.
"Just be glad you get to see him at all, Mana. Most people do not get the honor." Mahad reminded her, causing the Prince to blush a little.
"Yes, well I did, and got used to it. Now I miss it."
"Mana, I am trying. Please be patient with me, things are very complicated at the moment." He pleaded, trying to make her understand.
"I know. I just miss being young."
"What good is hoping to be young again? All it does is limit your progress forward and keep you stuck where you are." Atem mused. "Why would you be willing to loose everything you have learned thus far just go back and be carefree again? How can you move forward if you are always looking back? I believe the best day of your life should always be today"
Mana thought about this. "So if you had a chance to go back you would not?"
"No. What would I gain from going back? Nothing. What would I loose from going back? All the progress I have made sense then. The cons out weigh the pros."
"Very profound, my Prince." Mahad nodded towards him.
"You are mocking me. I know you are."
"I would never dream of it." He smiled.
"You are a really bad liar when your job does not depend on it."
"I know. It is really annoying." He complained.
"Speaking of stuff Mahad is bad at..." Mana started. He glared at her, she gave him a look that told him she was out for revenge.
"Say it and I am doubling your..." He couldn't even finish before she called his bluff.
"Mahad still can not summon his Ka." She smiled hugely. "Shimon even tried to help him." Mahad moaned and put his head in his hands. "I am starting to think that I will be able to summon mine before he can summon his."
Atem chuckled. "Have you tried to learn yours, Mana?"
"No, I do not really need to. I can take on anything that wants to attack me. I am not that important, I do not have armys after me like you do."
"That is not true. You are very important."
"To who exactly." She looked at him sceptically. She was surprised to see him blush.
"You are important to me." He said quietly looking away.
"Thanks." She smiled at him, completely oblivious to his nervousness. No one said anything for a while, Mahad should have been entertained by this. Normally he would have. It just happened so much that it was starting to get annoying. Why couldn't they just hurry up and get it over with? Everyone knew they would end up married. Even Seto had mentioned more than once that the second became queen he was quitting and moving as far away as possible.
"Father finally found the owner of the Millennium Tauk." Atem finally broke the silence.
"Oh who?" Mana asked.
"Her name is Isis. Her mother was one of the cooks. It was sheer luck they figured out it was her. Isis was bringing some food to Maraj, one the previous owner of the ring, she's been ill lately." He added the explanation only for Mana's benefit.
"Your Highness! I found you." Atem turned to see Karim coming towards him.
"Indeed, it would seem you have. Is it in anyway possible for you to unfind me?" Atem responded. A priest looking for him could only mean that his father needed him. So much for spending time with his friends.
"The Pharaoh requires your presence in the throne room."
"Of course he does. " He turned back towards Mana and Mahad. "I suppose I must leave now. I promise I will see you tomorrow, Mana." He nodded to them and followed Karim out.
Mana glared after them.
"Erg! I'm so tired of this!" She yelled and stomped out of the room dramatically turning the opposite direction the Prince had gone.
Mahad smiled and shook his head at his best friends. He turned to the shelves and looked though them. This section always brought back memories. He'd been standing in this exact spot when he officially became a resident of the palace. A lot had happened since then. He reached for the smallest book on the shelf, probably the only one on this shelf he hadn't read yet, he wasn't really fond of small books, he finished them too quickly. He was surprised when it wouldn't come off the shelf, instead it just moved forward a little.
"What?" He stared in shock as the entire shelf began to move as though it was a door. It opened to an unlit hall-way. There were torches along the walls. He looked behind him to make sure there was no one around before lighting the torches with magic and following the hall. It quickly became less of a hall and more of a stairway. He was pretty sure he was at least twenty feet underground before it finally ended. It became a single nearly empty room. All that was in the room was more torches, which he lit, and in the center was a stand, on the stand was two books. Two very large, very heavy looking books.
He reached out to them curious as to why they had been hidden. When he saw the title and cover of one book the quickly pulled his hand back with a gasp.
It was rw nw prt m hrw….. The Book of the Dead.
Only those directly involved in the mummification possess of a previous Pharaoh could even touch the book. All others who did were doomed to never reach the afterlife.
What was the Book of the Dead doing here? Shouldn't it be in some temple or something?
Mahad considered going back to the library. This was not a place he should be. It was hidden for a reason. Then he saw a piece of parchment sticking out from the second book. Someone else had read this book, which must mean that it was safe. The book had no title, no marks on the cover to tell what book it was, except for a single wadjet. Horus' eye stared at Mahad, and he could not control his curiosity.
He picked up the nameless book and opened it to the page that was marked. The book was clearly in an ancient language. He couldn't read a word. A little disappointed he picked up the parchment and looked at it. Whoever put this in the book must have been able to read it. It was a letter, more like a diary entry then a letter really.
I will save my people from these enemies... I must as only I will do it,
In order to save my people it must be done. An army will be necessary, they must not know what is happening as they are sure to tell him. They will need to be brainwashed. Something only a magician can do. How I loath the thought of using one of those vile creatures.
For the good of my people I will do it. I will do what my brother, the 'great pharaoh of Egypt' would never have the courage for. Though I am not afraid. He is a coward. He would never do what I must do for my people. He would never give up what I have given up for my people.
His 'precious' son. The filthily witch lover.
My son should be the one, my son is far better then that rat. Had I been born a few seconds earlier he could have been. He could have been the King of Egypt. Instead of that foolish child. He will ruin us, as his father nearly did.
Only I can save them from his foolishness, his inability to rule. There is only one way to do that now.
Souls will be sacrificed. Living souls must be sacrificed to forge the Millennium items. The Millennium items will save us.
It must be secret. No one may know. A village far away, a village hidden by those who hide for a living. A village hidden by thieves, murderers, and all other evils some so foul they remain nameless.
It is the perfect place. A village of evil men, no one will miss them. No one will even know they are gone. I will be doing the world a favor.
If he were to find out he would let my people die to stop me, to protect this filth.
It must be secret, it must be perfect. It will be perfect, the perfect plan. My plan, only mine.
I will not be stopped.
A/N If anyone is wondering the book he pulled out to open the door is the same book he was reaching for when his mom distracted him by telling him they were moving to the palace. ^_^