Queen of the Nile
Wufei was enraged as he entered the city after the battle. His body was splattered with the blood of his enemies and his mind filled with the vengeance he wanted to extract of those responsible. He had lost good men in the battlefield, loyal men, men that were like brothers to him. But he could not fulfill his desire for retribution, Pharaoh had forbid it; and more than that Sekhmet/Lady Une had warned him against such an action. He would have to rein his anger and obey the will of Pharaoh. The future of Egypt was at stake, he would not jeopardize it.
The governor's mansion was on a hill on the East part of the city. This position afforded it a great view to the Nile River and an imposing presence over the city. It's gate had been left unguarded by the fleeing enemies that had taken possession of it. Wufei entered the mansion followed by his best soldiers. They tore down doors until they found the governor and his family cowering in front of the altar to Isis
"Do you expect Isis to protect you from my wrath?" Wufei demanded in a near shout.
The governor cringed for a moment but then realized that the bloody warrior standing in front was an Egyptian soldier. He stood trying to regain his former arrogance. "Soldier, how dare you speak to me? Where is your commander?" The governor looked at Wufei with disdain.
Wufei raised his bloodied dagger and pointed it at the now retreating governor.
"I am your Lord, Prince Wufei, the Hand of Pharaoh. Bow before me, you traitorous dog, before I send you to the judgment hall of the gods."
The governor's arrogance left as quickly as it had come. His eyes widened in fear once more and he kneeled in front of Wufei. His mind reeled in shock, Prince Wufei had lead the actual battle?
"My lord, forgive me, I am Hasep, governor of Behbeit El-Hagar, faithful servant to Pharaoh. But why does the Hand of Pharaoh call me a traitor? I cannot be faulted for the incompetence of soldiers who where unable to protect the city from the enemy."
"You can and will be faulted for it." Wufei grabbed the golden, neck collar of the governor and raised him with it, shaking him with fury. "Soldiers just follow orders, and if you don't know how to command, you should be replaced. But your sins are greater than that. You allowed the enemy to enter, knowing that Pharaoh would send soldiers to rescue you. Knowing that Pharaoh, in her great mercy, would send you riches to help you recover."
Wufei threw him to the ground and continued ranting.
"How many times have you played this game? Did you think that the divine Pharaoh, would not learn of your traitorous heart?"
Hasep shook his head in denial, his heart filled with horror and fear of the possible punishment. "No, my lord. That's not true."
"So you deny it." Wufei remained silent for a moment, trying to control his temper and remembering Pharaoh's instructions.
## - flashback-
"I cannot kill him?" Wufei demanded.
"No, you cannot. He is traitorous but useful. If you killed him that Province would fall into our enemies. His family is influential, they would seek to undermine the kingdom. Better to control him and use him as we see fit."
"It will be as Pharaoh orders." Wufei bowed and Pharaoh departed.
## - end of flashback -
Wufei glanced at one of his soldiers, who immediately obeyed the unspoken command and grabbed the governor's two children, bringing them in front of Wufei.
Wufei pointed the dagger at the children, "Your lives will mean the death of your children."
"No!" The desperate cry of their mother filled the room. She ran towards Wufei and threw herself at his feet. "Please, my lord, have mercy. They are innocent, please do not harm them, I beg you."
"What would you have me do, lady. Forgive and forget?"
"My lord, I know of my husband treacherous heart but I have no power to stop him. Do as you will with him or me, but spare my children."
Wufei stared with contempt at Hasep, it was as Pharaoh had predicted, the man would rather see his children dead than risk his life. But the woman... the woman would risk all for them. She was brave, as Pharaoh had told him, she just needed a little power to wield.
"What is your name, lady?"
"I am Lady Reshematep, daughter of the House of Water."
"Hasep!" The governor cringed in fear. "Pray that the days of Lady Reshematep may be long, for Pharaoh has commanded that the day she dies, you be quartered into pieces. Whether she dies of sickness, accident, or old age, will not matter; your death will be commanded just the same. So protect her well." He glanced back at the surprised lady. "Lady Reshematep, daughter of the House of Water, Pharaoh, may she live forever, commands that your children be brought to her. They will be raised in the Great House of Pharaoh, as long as you keep your husband in check, they will prosper."
At Pharaoh's Palace...
The party had broken quickly, everyone eager to leave trying to avoid being implicated with the incident. The almost emptied hall was left only with Prince Quatre and two soldiers, Sheftu and Shebenet.
The trusted soldiers helped Quatre inspect the body of dead servant. Quatre searched his clothes carefully, hoping to find something that would point to the one behind this. He had no doubt that someone had coerced the servant to such an action, someone with power.
Nothing was found so Quatre decided to inspect the servants living quarters.
"Milord, Prince Quatre, forgive my boldness but perhaps it would be better if you questioned the entertainer, Trowa, now. We will search the servants room and bring you anything we find. It would be unseemly for your greatness to lower yourself to enter such a place."
Quatre hesitated, not agreeing with Sheftu, but because he felt the great need to be with Dorothy. He needed to assure himself in the flesh, that she was alive and well. Desire raged inside of him, desire to prove they were alive in the most basic way.
He agreed and sent Sheftu and Shebenet to search, with orders of being very thorough.
Wufei could not wait to leave the city, so he didn`t. Lady Reshematep had to almost run, in order to pack some of her children's things. She kissed and hugged them fiercely, bidding them a tearful goodbye.
The innocence of their youth combined with their natural mischievousness, only allowed them to see what awaited as the adventure they always dreamed of. Already they looked upon Prince Wufei, with admiration and awe. Both whispering to each other, how they longed to be a brave soldier such as he, when they grew to manhood.
Wufei was oblivious to their admiration, and just hurried his small escort to leave. He would leave most of the soldiers and chariots behind, taking with him a handful of soldiers and the necessary chariots to transport them back. The soldiers remaining in the city would be under the command of Tishen, a trustworthy commander, that would make sure the invaders did not return.
The two young boys were placed in his chariot, and Wufei commanded the horses away from the city. His escort followed quickly, leaving a cloud of dust and sand behind them.
The sun would set soon, and Wufei hoped to reach the oasis before dark. He wanted to rest there again, before returning to Pharaoh. The children were ecstatic to be riding a chariot for the first time in their lives. They giggled with glee as Wufei hurried the horses even more, blanketing for a moment part of the escort, with a cloud of his dust.
They soon reached the oasis, and the soldiers rushed to set up camp, with the little light left remaining. Wufei set his own tent this time, while the young boys watched avidly.
"Are you going to kill us now?"
"Are the soldiers going to kill us?"
"Hmm... is Pharaoh going to kill us?"
"Will she throw us in the Nile, to be eaten by crocodiles."
"Would you just shut up, nobody is going to kill you!"
Three blissful minutes of silence.
"Why are you covered with blood?"
"Because I killed some stupid soldier that asked one question too many." He replied meaningfully.
"Oh." The boy considered this for a moment. "But you said you weren't going to kill us, so we can make all the questions we want." His logic was irrefutable, but damn, they were supposed to be in awe of him, in fear of him.
Wufei groaned inwardly, just what he needed, two perky boys after a long day. He sent them inside the tent to rest, and he went to bathe in the cool water. He needed to wash away the blood that now had begun to stink in his body. The foul smell made him slightly nauseous, reminding him of the bloody battle. It was always this way, battle was hell.
The moon made its appearance, casting its mysterious light on the water, that rippled with the soft, cool wind of the desert night. Wufei relaxed in it, until the cold began to seep into his bones. He dried himself of, and changed to a clean linen kilt, that he draped across his thighs. He still felt the bite of the cold wind, so he covered his shoulders with the fur a leopard. The giggling voices of the boys dissuaded him from remaining in the tent. He walked besides the water, searching for the spot where Sekhmet/Lady Une, had spoken to him.