"You should rest, you are going to need it tomorrow." Atem said quietly poking the fire they had built to keep out the nighttime chill of the desert, more out of a lack of anything to do then the fire actually needing it.
Mahad gave a humorless chuckle from where he stood leaning against one of the horses, arms folded looking off into the distance.. "I will find no rest here. Or possibly ever again, what about you? Could you actually sleep if you weren't so busy trying to convince me to sleep?"
Atem didn't answer, there was no reason to when Mahad already knew the answer.
"Do you think she's mad at me?" The Pharaoh asked changing the subject. Mahad figured he was trying to distract himself through conversation and obliged him, though the magician didn't feel like chatting at the moment.
"Mana? Probably a little. Not nearly as angry as she probably is with me. I did not say goodbye."
"I am sorry, that is my fault." Atem said with obvious guilt.
"You did not have much of a choice, she would have never let you go." Mahad said calmly, not wanting the Pharaoh's last night to be one of regret. "It must have been difficult, I am sure."
"I hope she will forgive me."
"Perhaps someday we will be able to apologize to her together." Mahad gave his friend a small smile.
Atem smiled back, "I would like that." he replied, though he didn't believe he'd ever have the chance. He might as well pretend, it wasn't like it was going to hurt anything anyway. It wasn't like things could get any worse.
"What do you mean he is gone! He can not be gone!" Mana screamed as loud as her voice could possibly go, naturally anyway, she'd wait until Seto had made his lame excuse before adding amplifying magic.
"He told me he was leaving..." Seto began but was unable to explain before being interrupted by the young magician.
"Why did you not stop him!? You are telling me that you just let him go!"
"If you would shut up and actually listen I will answer your questions!" he exclaimed, he rarely rose his voice, but she'd interrupted him enough times to make anyone angry. She did grow quiet, but it didn't knock the angry look on her face. Isis couldn't help but give a small giggle, and Karim had a small smile, as though it was painful, Shada wasn't fazed however.
"As I was saying. He let me know he was leaving, and that Mahad was going with him... However, he implied that it would be a short trip. I was not expecting anything like this." Seto's voice grew weak and his gaze fell, as did everyone else's.
"I do not understand." Shada said quietly, "You said he left you a letter, but what did it say, he seemed fine to me, I mean, I knew he was struggling with the millenium puzzle, but he was so strong. Could he really not be able to contain them?"
"He is strong." Isis replied, emphasizing the present pronoun, not happy with Shada's use of the past-tense to describe their king. "But there is no mortal man who can resist the power of ninety-nine vengeful spirits on his own. His power to last as long as he has is a testament to his strength of will."
"You knew he was leaving..." Seto accused, a betrayed look on his face. "Why did you not say something?"
Isis sighed. "Yes, I did know." She began, resulting in the other adopting similar looks of betrayal, along with an exclamation from Mana. "And yes, I did keep it a secret willingly, in fact I even aided in his departure. I Saw his future and I made my decision accordingly. If I had told even one of you all of you would have held him back."
"Of course we would have, he's our king! It is our job to protect him!" Karim exclaimed, speaking for the first time since he'd learned of the Pharaoh's departure.
"We can no longer protect our Pharaoh. He is beyond our aid. All we can do for him now is to ensure that his people are safe and our heirs are ready to meet him when he returns."
"How can we just go along with that. We should be searching for him right now!" Karim replied turning to Seto. With the Pharaoh gone Seto was the only heir to the royal bloodline, and as such was the only one who could rule. The newly-realized prince sat on the stairs leading to the throne with his head resting on his hands, unable to justify sitting on a throne that wasn't his and would never be. Even if the Pharaoh didn't return for another hundred years and loathing the hard choice that lay before him.
"Seto, you know as well as I that searching for him would only hinder his destiny and put our troops in danger." Isis reminded, trying to be the voice of reason among her peers, it was her usual role, but this time there was more at stake.
"We can not just leave him out there! I must agree with Karim, we need our king! What kind of priests would we be if we just let him run off like that!" Shada added, unable to keep his voice calm at a time like this.
"We would be doing him a favor." Isis defended.
"We would be killing him!"
"Enough!" Seto exclaimed, breaking up the argument before it got past the point of no return. "Shada, I will not condone yelling at a lady, this is not her decision to make, it is mine."
They both turned to face him, Shada giving a quick apology for letting his anger and worry get out of control.
"Seto..." Isis began but did not continue, whatever Seto decided now there was nothing she could do to change his mind.
"What about you, Mana, you have been surprisingly quiet for longer than expected."
Mana simply looked at him for a moment, before finally beginning to cry. She dropped to her knees and covered her face and cried.
A look of pain fell on everyone's faces, Mana had reacted almost violently when she'd awoken and found her best friend gone, but somehow it just hadn't really sunk in to the others how much pain she must have really been feeling. The Pharaoh had personally given her a permanent goodbye, but she'd been powerless to stop him, and now her two best friends in the entire world, no, more than that, the man she'd fallen in love with and the closest thing she'd had to a father were now just gone. And she would never see them again.
Seto stood, walked slowly to the broken girl and knelt beside her placing a hand on her back. Gently rubbing her back until she was able to settle her sobs.
"He loved you, you know." He whispered gently, when he was sure she could hear him. "The only thing he asked of me in his letter was to take care of you."
"I know." she managed to reply.
"I know it will not be everything you had hoped it would be, but I would be honored if you would succeed your master as one of the high priests."
Mana turned to him surprise in her eyes. "Really?" she sniffed before lowering her gaze again. "You do not want me, I am rubbish at magic."
Seto gave a slight chuckle. "On the contrary, I think you are more than adequate. After all how could Mahad's best student be anything but the best. You do your master a dishonor by doubting yourself like that." He stood giving her a slightly disapproving look.
Her gaze returned her eyes brighter than they'd been all day. "You are right. I have to be better than average. After all I was trained by the best." she said not exactly happily, but it was definitely an improvement.
"That is right. And Mahad is not someone who leaves something undone, his willingness to leave proves that you are able to continue what he began, as the first and only Magician Priest, he could not leave with the position unfilled."
Mana nodded, tears still falling from her eyes. "The Pharaoh trusts me too, he always knew I could do it. He would always defend me when Master Mahad was ready to give up... plus he loves me." she added quietly her eyes closing as she accepted her new purpose in life. To be everything her master and her best friend wanted her to be, and maybe even rise above what they ever expected.
"She's not the only one he trusted." Seto said calmly, his gaze turning from Mana, to the priests. "The Pharaoh trusted us to take care of his people until his return, I would never be able to face him if we failed that mission in an attempt to find him when he so clearly does not wish to be found. It is up to us to ensure the safety he fought so hard to give Egypt is not wasted.
Our King will return to us one day, we need to ensure that there is still an Egypt for him to return to."
A/N) Sorry about the long hiatus. The truth is that in general I really don't like Yugioh anymore. I still love this part, the ancient Egypt characters and the parts of the plot that don't involve me being very confused and dumb magical board games in the sky. I just wish I could like the rest of the story also. *Sigh*
And with these last few chapters being so emotional It really takes it really takes a lot of thought, time, and heart to really make it work, I'm having trouble sitting down and writing without much inspiration, since I obviously can't go back and watch the anime to get back into it as I just keep laughing at the ridiculousness of half the stuff the characters do and face-palm at half the stuff the characters do. If it wasn't for the ancient Egypt part I'd drop Yugioh without a thought.
But I love the Egyptian characters so much! I mean seriously, I want to marry Mahad so much! Why can't he be real! *sob.*
Anyway, I digress, I'll try to have the next one up sooner.
Did you enjoy my ongoing story so far? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, EvelynwnWrite a Review