Previous: (Part- 1)

*****

For three nights, Khemtep’s sleep was disrupted. For three nights he had awoken from the same dream. The first night he had called out to his Medjai that stand guard all through dark. They would burst in with weapons drawn, to find nothing but their startled Pharaoh. The second night was much the same. But this night, he awoke without a sound. He just led and replayed the dream through his mind. A woman with eyes that shone yellow sat upon his throne, a jagged golden dagger in her grasp. The pharaoh kneeled before her. On one side of the throne, the jackal-headed god, Anubis, stood bound with chain and collar. On the other side stood the god of chaos, Set, whose eyes shone as the woman’s did. The dream always ended with the woman approaching, dagger held tight.

As the Pharaoh led awake, considering his dream, he remembered the prophet’s words. She is chaos. The god of discord has chosen a champion. He questioned himself in whisper. “Is this the chosen that haunts my dreams? Did I mistake the truth for words of a fool?”

“That you did.” A shrill whisper came from beside him. A shadow lurked behind one of the curtains of his bed. The silhouette was of a woman, a flash of gold gripped in her hand.

“Medjai!” Khemtep called out to his guardians, his voice catching in his throat through fear. Just before the door burst open, the shadow beside him dissipated in a swirling mist. With his Medjai now in the room, the Pharaoh forced movement from his frozen form. Pulling the curtain across, he could see his two guards standing with curved blade drawn, stern looks on their faces.

“There’s someone in here. A woman. She’s armed. Find her.” Khemtep commanded, hysteric from fear. But he was too late. A figure from the shadows emerged behind each of his Medjai. A blade was plunged through the back of one as the others throat was slit. The Pharaoh’s guard dropped as one. The executioners of his Medjai then began to shamble toward Khemtep, partly hidden in shadow. A stench of rot and death attacked his senses as they got closer. As the light of the moon revealed their faces, he could see decay and bandage. Death had already taken them.

“My name is Maia. I am the chosen of Set.” A sweet voice came from behind the Pharaoh as he felt a presence behind him, as he sat on the end of his bed. Arcing his head, he could see the scantily clad woman knelt there, unusual markings of black paint covering her entirety. It was the woman that haunted his dreams. He felt the sharp point of a blade at his throat.

“Anubis protect me.” Khemtep trembled.

“Your god will not protect you, Pharaoh.” Maia slowly inserted her dagger into Khemtep’s neck as he struggled for breath. “You are not worthy.”

*****

A thousand stars shone in the dark abyss above. Miris watched as one fell. She stood alone, cloaked in a blanket of fine material to fight the chill in the air. Her whitened mud hut behind her reflected the light of the moon, and she heard her husband stir within. From the footsteps behind her, she knew that her absence had awoken him.

“Miris, what are you doing out here? The cold of a clear night will be your death.” Kalaros said as he wrapped his muscular arms around her from behind.

“They’re here.” She pointed into the distance and spoke as if in a trance.

Kalaros could see four figures in the distance, silhouetted by the grey light of the night. They moved as though injured and carried something that caught the light in their hands. The smell of death was in the air. Rot, decay and the metallic tang of blood. They moved closer and closer, until, the Medjai could see that they were armed.

“Miris, we must go inside.” Kalaros gently guided her through the doorway of their home, as she appeared not to hear him. “Miris.” He called her name a little louder this time and caressed the side of her face. As her eyes gazed into his, her trance broke.

“What’s going on?” Miris asked, disoriented. With his wife returned to reality, the Medjai set to his duty. To protect.

“Trouble,” Kalaros spoke as he picked up his sword and ran his finger along its edge, as he always did. “Armed men are coming. You must hide.”

Miris did not hesitate. With her husband’s position among the guardians, they had prepared for such encounters, and this was not the first. She grasped a dagger hidden beneath their bed, its grip comfortable in her trained hands.

“I will not hide. Not this night.” Miris said, the look in her emerald eyes unmoving. Kalaros considered her words carefully and fought the wanting to deny her. But instead, he smiled and nodded.

*****

The next part will be coming next week! Thank you all for reading.