The Life Of A King

Something Old, Something New

Chapter 25

Something Old, Something New

"Prince." Atem woke to a voice, which was very unusual. "Prince." This time he recognized the voice as Mahad.

"What?" He asked rubbing his eyes. Mahad walked over and sat on the bed by the Prince.

"The Pharaoh just got back." he said softly. "The others did not think I should wake you, but I had a feeling you would be upset in the morning if we waited."

The Prince smiled "You, naturally, were right." He stood.

"He went almost straight to his bedchamber, so he probably will not be awake."

"Thank you, Mahad."

"Of course,"

Mahad followed the Prince to the Pharaoh's bedchamber but did not walk inside. He chose instead to stand in the doorway, respecting his king's need for rest, even though he knew the Prince wouldn't do the same.

"Father." The Prince called, trying to mimic the way Mahad had woken him. The Pharaoh woke quickly. He sighed and sat up.

"Did you really think I would let you just go to bed?" The Prince asked.

"I suppose I should not have tried."

"Did you find what you were looking for?" The Prince asked sitting on the bed. The Pharaoh looked at Mahad before answering, and Mahad knew exactly what the Pharaoh had found.

"Unfortunately."

"You did not want to find it?"

"No, not the way I found it anyway."

"What were you looking for?"

The Pharaoh sighed. "Are you willing to wait till morning before I tell you? I am quite exhausted."

"Do I have to?" The Prince complained.

"Yes."

The Prince sighed as well. "Then why did you ask?"

"Merely to be polite." He said, causing the Prince to roll his eyes.

"Fine, tomorrow. I will be very upset if you forget."

"I know you will."

Atem stood and moved to walk out the door. Instead of going out though he turned back around. He had an uncontrollable urge to hug his father, and he had no idea why.

The Pharaoh seemed taken aback by this unexpected gesture, before returning it.

"I love you, Father." Atem said, surprising his father again. This wasn't normal behavior from the Prince.

"I love you too, Son."

They broke apart and Atem left without saying anything else. This time however Mahad did not follow.

"I fear the end of my days is coming near."

"What?" Mahad asked in alarm. "I can get a nurse if you are ill."

"No, they will find nothing wrong." The Pharaoh watched Mahad's face turn to confusion. "The gods will judge me for what happened to those people."

"But you did not do it."

"It matters not. I am responsible for my brother's actions. I should have inquired more about the process of making the items. I should have known better than to trust his foolishness." The Pharaoh was no longer looking at Mahad. He seemed to be staring at something unseen. "My only hope is that my son will not be judged as well."

"But that is not fair, how can you be judged while he..."

"He will receive his due for his actions in the gods timing. My timing merely came quicker."

"That does not make it any more fair."

"Fair, if life was fair I would be a commoner, and people would not think lowly of my son for being small and looking strange. Life is not fair, Mahad. You of all people should know that harsh truth." Mahad looked at the ground, knowing the Pharaoh was right. "Perhaps anubis will be more fair in death."

"You should not speak like that, Your Majesty. Egypt needs you." Mahad pleaded.

"No, they do not. My son is far more fit to rule than I. Do not argue with it, Mahad, I have had a number of people tell me how well he did while I was gone."

"That does not mean..."

"And why does it not?" He asked, but Mahad could not answer. So he went with a different approach.

"The Prince needs you."

"My son is not a child anymore, Mahad. As much as we want him to be, he is not. In fact he has not been a child in a very long time. He can survive without his father. Besides my passing is in the gods timing, not my own. They will not take me if they do not feel he is ready."

"Then what makes you so sure it is soon?"

"Because, Mahad, he is ready. As of the time I left all I can do for him is hold him back. I can not make him more prepared then he already is."

"That does not mean that he is willing to be without you."

"Willing or not, it matters not. He is ready and that is enough for me to rest easy."

"But..."

"Mahad do not argue with me over this, it will do no good."

Mahad closed his eyes, bowed, and prepared to leave.

"Atem sensed my death." The Pharaoh said, causing Mahad to look at him.

"What?"

"That is why he felt the need to say goodbye. Even if he did not know that was what he was doing."

Mahad thought about this for a moment. "The Prince is.. well unique. I have never seen anyone use magic the way he does. Let alone one who is not a mage. He does not even know he does it."

"The gods have granted him strange abilities. I could see them forming before he was even a summer old. He spoke and walked far earlier then a normal child, and animals seemed to like him a little more than what should have been natural. He knows a man's name before introduction and can tell when he is being lied to."

"Perhaps that is why he is so accepting of magicians."

"No, I do not believe so. Atem is one who would never judge one until he knew their character. Though he does see a man's character quicker than most, he is never wrong."

"Aknadin..." Mahad started not able to finish.

"Atem has never completely trusted my brother. He would always avoid Aknadin when he was young, and when he had to speak to him he always asked for a conformation of the information my brother gave him. Always asking someone if it was true."

"Yes, I suppose I see that now." Mahad responded nearly lost in his memories.

"I fear for what he may have to use those gifts for."

"As do I." Mahad agreed, he knew their conversation was over and walked away, heading towards his own room.

Mahad wasn't usually extremely religious but that night as he lie in bed, he prayed.

Please do not punish the Prince, what ever his reign please keep him safe though it.

"Prince! Prince! Wake up!" Atem moaned, he was sick of being woken up, and this voice was not near as calm as Mahad's had been.

"Prince!" He suddenly found himself shaking. "Wake up! It is important!"

"What do you want, Mana?" He managed to mumble.

"It is the Pharaoh. He is seriously ill."

Atem looked at her, fully awake now. "What?"

"He is really sick. Healers are everywhere, they are all running, and Isis is crying. I think it is really bad, Prince."

Atem quickly got out of bed, and rushed out of the room not even bothering to put a shirt on. Mana followed him as they ran towards the Pharaoh's bedchamber. Mana knew she was not allowed to be here, but she doubted anyone would mind at the moment. As long as she stayed out of the way at least.

"Isis, what is going on?" The Prince asked when they came upon her.

"They have no idea, he just did not wake up this morning. There is no sign of injury or illness. Nothing." She told them though tears.

Atem turned towards the doorway, wanted to go in but knowing he would be in their way.

They waited what seemed like forever as Healers rushed around doing what needed to be done and praying it worked, before one of them finally came out slowly. He looked at the trio before shaking his head, causing Mana to start crying also. Atem stop himself.

"You are wrong!" He yelled running past the Healer into his father's bedchamber. Mana wanted to follow, it just couldn't be true, but before she could make up her mind Atem ran out of the room and down the hall. She knew she needed to follow him. She hesitated a moment, thinking maybe she should get Mahad, he was much better at comforting someone then she was. She decided against it though, she didn't think she could explain the situation to Mahad. Not while crying like she was. She followed the Prince at a much slower speed then he'd gone. There was no point trying to catch up to him, she already knew where he was going.

When she found him she was surprised to find that he wasn't alone. Kuriboh and apparently summoned himself, as she seriously doubted the Prince found the energy and will to summon him, and was trying to cheer up his master. Naturally being a Ka he wasn't doing a very good job, not that he wasn't trying his hardest.

"He is amazing." She said softly hoping not to scare her friend. "Is that normal for a Ka?"

Atem was curled up with his arms around his knees watching Kuriboh dance. He didn't answer, knowing that she probably knew the answer to that better then he did. She sat down beside him and neither of them spoke. Kuriboh stopped dancing and just rubbed against his master's leg.

Mana thought about what she would want him to do if she was the one who was upset. She couldn't think of anything to say to make him feel better, then again she wasn't completely sure she should really say anything anyway. Instead she scooched a little closer to him and put her arm around him drawing him closer to her. Hugging was something that she'd never really felt like she was aloud to do, but he didn't object so she didn't worry about it.

She shouldn't have been surprised to hear him sobbing a few seconds later, but she couldn't help it. He had never cried in front of her before. She rubbed his back and whispered soothing words though he probably wasn't listening.

She was a little scared by how good this felt, just to hold him. She didn't understand why she felt that way, she supposed she was just glad to be helping her friend. Part of her knew that wasn't the whole truth.

It felt good to have him in her arms, if only it was under much better circumstances.

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