Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh! It belongs to Kazuki Takahashi.
Voices barked at each other, each trying to make their voice heard. Occasionally, a fist would pound the table as the owner tried to emphasis their point. The Pharaoh sat back in his chair, listening but not really listening. He too was lost in thought. The dilemma he was facing was a big one. The Roman Empire was near, they had conquered the lands to the west of them but were now making contact with Egypt. The Romans wanted Egypt to submit to the power of Rome and ally with them. But it would be that the Romans could waltz into their lands with nothing to stop them, they would control part of their military and send them to do their bidding, again with nothing to stop them. At the moment the Romans were offering the alliance but it was clear that hostile intentions had been indicated as the Romans had stationed their legions at the border.
"Pharaoh, what do we do?" A man asked, leaning forward to look at his King.
Aknamkanon looked at the man, the concern and almost fear was clear on the man's face. He did not answer for a moment, he was considering what to say as if he was totally honest he was not sure what to do.
A fist slammed on the table, "We must attack these invaders Pharaoh." Aknadin spat, glaring at his older brother, "We must stamp them out and teach them not to meddle with our land."
"That would not be wise brother." Aknamkanon responded, "Their military is far superior to ours and hostile actions would not be wise for our people."
Aknadin was clearly losing his cool as he rose slightly from his seat, "To do nothing would be unwise!"
"I did not say that we are to do nothing." Aknamkanon cut in, the glare he gave his brother was enough to make everyone around him wince ever so slightly however Aknadin was not fazed, "It would best to resolve this peacefully."
Akandin rolled his eyes and sank slightly in his chair, almost like a child.
"We shall treat the Romans peacefully, no hostile action will be taken against them." Aknamkanon continued, addressing the room at large, "We shall offer to open trade with them and make it clear that we have no intentions to strike against them but we do not wish to be part of their empire."
There was mummers of agreement round the table, showing these Romans that there were peaceful people would work, they hoped. Aknamkanon stood and left the room. Aknadin rose and followed him while the rest filed out room in the other direction. Aknadin strolled after his brother's retreating back.
"Brother!" He called, Aknamkanon stopped and looked round.
Akandin stopped in front of Aknamkanon, glaring at him; "Brother. Don't you see! By doing nothing you have endangered your people. You really think that these people are used to people saying no to them. Send out the armies, now."
"I have made my decision Aknadin. You may not agree but that is what will be done."
Without waiting for a response Aknamkanon walked away leaving his furious brother glaring after them. He walked down the many corridors of the palace thinking. He was still unsure whether he had made the right decision about the Romans. Perhaps it would be better to send out an army to them. But the Romans' military strength was something to be feared as well as admired. The Romans carried the reputation of being formidable fighters, their strength was not to be underestimated which meant that if they did send their armies out it was unlikely that they would return. Aknamkanon sighed, walking round another corner. It would be better to try and be peaceful with the Romans, that would not endanger anyone. He turned another corner and descended the small flight of stairs. The room that appeared to him was one of his favourites. This room sat by the river and the river flowed into the room. There was a square cut out where the river entered the room, three sides of that square stopped the river from flooding the room by the raised stone. There were stairs one side allow someone to enter the river to swim if they wished. It was a peaceful room, with only the sounds of the river to disturb the peace. There were no walls round the room either only various pillars which held the roof up and shielded the room from the sun's rays. As this was the easiest part of the palace to infiltrate there were always guards posted there. But the additional two guards that were hanging round by the sides of the room suggested to the Pharaoh that his son was there. Sure enough, Aknamkanon had only taken a few steps into the room when he saw him. The fifteen year old Prince was sat on the side of the pool leaning against a pillar with one leg dangling in the water. He was reading the scrolls of paper he had in front of him. Atem looked up upon hearing his father's approach, smiling at him.
"Good afternoon Father." Atem said, lowering the scrolls he was holding.
"How are you today son?" Aknamkanon asked, taking a seat beside his son.
"Very well father, thank you."
There was a pause as the Pharaoh looked out over the River Nile and the Prince folded up the scrolls he was holding. Aknamkanon glanced at his son for a moment while the latter wasn't paying attention. His son did not know about the threat of the Romans, as the Pharaoh had not wanted to alarm him but perhaps it would be useful to see how his son would deal with a situation like this, but without actually telling him that the scenario was real.
"I have a scenario for you, son."
Atem looked at his father, waiting for him to continue.
"Say, when you are Pharaoh there is a... foreign empire which wants to take our lands for their own personal gain. What would you do?"
Atem thought for a moment, there was a lot to consider. He looked out of the river as he considered his answers. Both sides would have their reasons for wanting the land. His people will have lived on this land their whole lives and therefore had a right to live how they wished. But at the same time this empire would have chosen the land for a good reason.
"Perhaps," Atem started, turning back to his father, "There would be a way to peacefully come to an arrange. Maybe this empire has its eyes on our land because of the resources it possesses. So, I think it would be wise to strike an agreement with this empire that lets our people keep the land but not to offend this empire by refusing. Maybe something like a trade agreement."
Aknamkanon made a sound of approval before looking away. His son had had the same idea that he had. But then, Atem was a very peaceful person so he would always look to resolve things peacefully. Looking back he saw his son gazed at him with an expression on his face. His son had a spectacular talent hiding what he was thinking through this expression. Even Aknamkanon, his father, could not tell what he was thinking at the time. It could be anything, one would have to be in Atem's mind to know what he was thinking. Sighing, Aknamkanon accepted the decision he had made. It was a good one and it would be for the best.
The man approached the gates of the palace. The man was dressed in a long, white tunic with red trimmings. His hair was greying and he had a massive bald spot on the top of his head. He approached the iron gates of the palace. The two guards saw his approach and faced him;
"Halt in the name of the Pharaoh!" One called.
The man held his hand up, "I am Marcus Matius Bodenius. I am a Diplomat of the Roman Empire; I have come to speak with his majesty, the Pharaoh."
The two guards looked at one enough before motioning for Marcus to follow. The iron gates swung open and Marcus followed the guards up the long path to the palace. He could not lie, the palace was impressive. It would make a fine addition to the empire. They walked into the palace and along another long corridor. The corridor led into a large room, with a raised platform where the Pharaoh sat on his throne. But before he could enter, he was asked to wait.
"My King," A Guard announced, "Marcus Matius Bodenius of the Roman Empire to see you."
With the signal from the guard, Marcus walked into the room. When he approached the King of Egypt, he knelt down. His left knee pointing forward.
"Your majesty," Marcus said, standing up, "I have come to make an offer to you. We would like to ally ourselves with you. We would like access to your lands and access to your military. You shall become part of the mighty Roman Empire."
The Pharaoh seemed to consider him, it seemed as though he had already decided on his answer.
"Your empire is mighty." The Pharaoh said, "We applaud your hard work in creating it. I wish to make a counter offer, we will open up trade with your empire but as much as we are honoured by your offer but I am afraid to say that we cannot accept."
Marcus eyed the Pharaoh, he had be warned about this but he had been told what to do in this situation.
"With respect Pharaoh, I believe you have made an unwise decision." Marcus said.
"How dare you speak to the Pharaoh like that!" An advisor spat, he was about to continue but the Pharaoh held up his hand.
"I am sorry, that our decision has not pleased you." The Pharaoh said, "But it is our final word."
The Pharaoh motioned to the guards to escort the man out.
"I must warn you Pharaoh," Marcus said, as he was ushered out, "You decision will have consequences."
Aknamkanon stared after the man, he had thought that the Romans would not be happy with the decision but it was made it was done. It was done and he would not change it now.
The night had drawn in; the air was cool and crisp. Atem leant against the balcony, gazing out over the land. He liked to take time to consider the days events before turning in for the night. Something caught his eye. There was a bright spot, coming closer. As he watched serval other bright spots appeared. It was like a large group of travellers were making their way towards the city walls. Atem stood up, there were loads of the bright lights appearing coming closer towards the city. As they came closer, he thought he could see people. They were coming closer and closer, and some seemed to be pushing some large objects. Atem looked around; he could just see the captain of the guards around one of the corners.
"Nekht?" He called.
The Captain came out on to the balcony; "Yes, my Prince?"
"Look." Atem said, pointing at the large collection of bright spots, "What is that?"
Nekht looked for himself, a small bit of fear ran through his veins.
"By the Gods, here they come."
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