WARNING: This is a SHOJO manga, so I will be using 'flowery' wording for some scenes that would have been dramatic, to the people in the manga, but not to Harker, who is just very done with the whole situation. Also, HIGH possibility that Harker will be a Gary-Sue. VERY HIGH!
Disclaimer: This is an Ouke No Monshou (Crest Of The Royal Family/The Royal Hieroglyphic) fanfiction, Ouke No Monshou is the property and creation of Chieko Hosokawa.
Chapter 1: White Westerners In Enslaved Egypt
"Hey Hark! See ya later, don't be a stranger! Come 'round any time you want!"
"Yeah mate, you too. Don't die or anything, kay?"
"Haha, you wish."
"You have no idea."
"What was that?!"
Harker turned and booked it out of the gate, running past the many parked cars along the main road in front of the school. He waved to a bunch of people he knew by face, but not by name, as he rounded the corner and slowed to a jog.
'Finally, freedom from the education!' He though as he slowed.
He adjusted the straps of his bag as he looked around, waiting for the next intersection to cross. He hummed as he walked after the car.
'Have I got everything done?' He thought, his eyes being drawn to the cloud-dotted sky.
'Let's see, no assignments, a bit- a little bit- of homework, ah- I have that Holiday reading.' He clicked his finger as he gave a firm nod to himself.
He ducked under a branch as he walked further away from the business of the main streets and further into the residential areas.
'So, that's all I need to do?' Harker though as he began to doubt himself, a small frown tugging on his lips.
"Am I sure- are you sure Harker?"
Harker bit the nail of his thumb as he thought, before nodding resolutely.
'Yes, that's all. I have four and a half weeks, worse comes to worst I can finish it by then. For now though, I am sure. Good.'
With a bit more peace of mind, he began trotting the rest of the way, nodding to the people he passed by. As the sounds of the cars faded, Harker turned up the music on his phone and placed his ear-phones in, sounds of the Mirrai Nikki opening flowed through his earphones casing his steps to match the beat. He hummed to the lyrics as he continued to walk, his body going into auto-pilot as his body dodged reversing cars, fellow students and tree branches – who were definitely out to get him by the way.
Harker paused, something definitely was wrong. He looked left and right, biting the nail of his thumb as he thought.
'I know somethings missing, not school, what am I missing.'
Harker began patting his hip in agitation with his once-bitten hand as he frowned.
"Come on, come on! I'm definitely missing-"
He paused, thought and movement stopping.
"Oh God- Oh-fucking God! I…"
He patted his hip harshly.
"I have work. I have work, I was meant to catch the bus! Oh shit!"
Harker unplugged his ear-phones and tied them around his neck harshly, putting the rest in his shirt and zipping up his pocket. He bent his knees and took off running, sprinting up the hill, around the corner and up the next before leaping over the fence into Mrs. Samson's yard, tapping her dog on the nose.
"Hey Mrs. Samson!" He yelled as he jumped over the other side.
"One day you're going to impale yourself, boy!" She yelled back as he ran down the hill.
"I'll be careful!"
"Maybe if I get there fast enough, Mum'll give me a lift! God I hope so!" He though as he dashed, using a 'stop' sign to help his swing around the corner sharply as he continued before running down the hill.
'Oh c'mon! C'mon! C'mon!' He heard the familiar 'vroom' as his mother's car started. 'Just a little bit faster! Just a little bit faster!'
Harker crash against the side of the car, body spread out like a starfish before he slowly slid down to plop on the ground.
There click before the driver's side door swung opened. A tall, lithe woman stood and looked around the boot. Harker looked and saw the long, black hair of his mother, obscure her face as she shook her head and laughed.
"Honestly Hark, one day you're going to kill yourself like this."
"I-don't-fffffffffff…" he stumbled as he tried to get his balance, using the car as support.
"I'm sure I will, but not today! As today, I forgot. To. Catch. The. Bus. And I-I…" Harker slumped slightly.
"So I need you…I-I need you to… Could you drive me down to Mirool-Murr-marroo- FUCK!"
"Want me to drive you down to Maroubra?"
"Yes, if you'd be so kind, please."
"Get in!" she sighed, black eyes rolling to the sky. "Already going that way, might as well get in, c'mon!"
"Thank you! I swear I will clean my room, I'll clean you room, I'll empty the dishwasher, I will- Thank you!" Harker threw his bag into the back seat, already packed with his swimming gear.
"Okay, let's go!"
"I'll hold you to that. You have your board?"
"Okay, let's go after I have my board! Haha…" His laughter dying as he speed-walked down the driveway.
Running onto the back deck he pulled open what appeared to be a small cabinet before reaching in and pulling out a board, he continued to pull to reveal that the cabinet actually went into the wall. In his arms Harker now held a white board that held a single yellow sun design at the nose.
He tucked it under his arm as he jogged back to the car, pushing the empty set down and sliding the board in from the boot. Slamming the boot down, he threw himself into the opposite seat and closed his door.
"Okay, now we can go!"
His mother laughed as she turned on the car and pulled out and the two drove off.
"Finally, thought you wouldn't make it!"
Harker turned to see Priti strolling up to him, decked out in her bathing suit and her board under her arm.
Priti and Harker had been friends since childhood, their mothers had been close and had come to Australia from Egypt together to study at the same University. This resulted in many play-dates and sleep overs spaning over the 18 years of the two's lives.
Priti looked a lot like her mother, black hair that fell around her shoulders, tanned skin from time in the sun, a tall, solid body with more than a few battle scars. Dark, brown eyes that shone lively within a frame of thick lashes, a snub ended nose and a nice smile. She was a strong girl, could easily lift Harker straight off the ground, and she knew it too. Loving the feeling of knocking down the new life guards down a peg, when they thought she was easy picking because she was a girl. At the moment, she was clad in the unisex lifeguard uniform, red shorts and a yellow shirt with the words lifeguard written on the back in red.
Now while Priti was indeed a pretty girl, Harker himself was nothing to sneeze at. With a height of 190cms and having enough muscle to pick up 68kg – AKA Priti- with one arm, his body was in good shape, along with his flat stomach and strong legs. His skin was relatively pale, considering his time at the beach, his hair was a fare shade of gold and his eyes were a sharp, clear blue.
Harker smiled and opened his arms to hug his shorted friend, giving her a solid pat on the back he withdrew and raised an eyebrow.
"Oh you know me, fashionably late and all."
Priti smirked and helped him take his board out of the car.
"Later Sahra, I'll keep him out of trouble for you." She waved Harker's mother goodbye as she drove around the corner, leaving the two at the beach.
"Really though, you forgot you had work today, right?"
Harker sighed and rubbed the back of his head.
"Yeah, I was thinking of other things and I only realised half-way."
Priti gave him a frown before walking to the changing rooms, Harker following her across the sand. Dropping his stuff, Harker unbuttoned his shirt and moved to pull it off, completely fine with Priti dropping her bag next to him as well.
"How much time do I have?" He asked as he dropped his pants quickly.
Priti checked her watch before muttering a curse and grabbing her goggles.
"FUCK A DUCK!"
"I'd rather you didn't Hark."
Harker and Priti ran out of the change rooms and up to the office, quickly signing in. Grabbing a water bottle from the fridge, they left the building and ran across the beach, uniform board tucked under arm. Skidding to a halt, the two dropped their possessions and waved at the man looking at them through a pair of binoculars.
"G'day Chris, ready for your break?" Harker asked as he took the equipment out of Chris' hands.
Chris laughed and gave Harker a solid thump on the back, before jogging back to the watch tower.
Harker nodded to his retreating form before looking through the eye-holes and watched the swimmers, making sure they were all in the safe area. Priti sat on a plastic chair next to him, watching the swimmers in the closer shore. He stepped back as two boys tumbled past him and into the surf playfully, screaming as the cold water surrounded them.
He smiled down at them as one waved, before getting dunked by his friend. They playfully wrestled before getting knocked over by another wave.
"Careful you two, don't drown one another." He chuckled, letting the binoculars hang around his neck.
The children chorused an affirmative before running deeper into the water. Priti glanced at Harker's shoulder and smiled at the simple tattoo on his bicep, a simplistic black sun outline. They had gotten it on his 18th birthday, with his mother's permission, to celebrate 18 years under the sun. Priti had backed out of getting one herself, and instead had gotten her ears pierced, now constantly wearing the earrings her grandmother had given her from Egypt.
"You 'kay there, Priti?"
She looked up at Harker, quickly pulled from her day dream.
"Yeah, I'm fine."
Harker shrugged before turning back to the shore, wincing as a surfer got dunked by a wave. He let out a sympathetic hiss as the surfer came back to the surface and clambered into his board, waving off his friends who had paddled towards him.
"Jee, that looked bad." Priti snorted before taking a swing of her bottle.
Harker hummed in agreement before sitting in the chair next to her, handing her the binoculars.
The two sat there, trading conversation as they watched the beach goers go about their business, more than happy that there were no problems. They watched people come and go, mothers kneeling in the shallows with their children and fathers being used as rafts by the older kids.
It was about 6pm when the next guards came to take over the beach, letting the two change and grab their personal boards for a swim and a lazy drift.
"Hey Hark, the good waves are over there, wanna go?" Priti asked as they paddled out, Harker slowing down and sitting up.
"Hm, nah. I don't feel like doing too much today, I think I'll just drift for a bit. You go ahead." He said, waving the girl off as he laid back on his board to soak up the sun.
Priti pouted, but turned her board and began paddling away towards the far shore. Harker sat up, looked to the shore, and waved to the life guard on duty to tell him that he was there. The life guard sent him a thumbs up, he had seen him.
Harker laid back down and sighed, letting his muscles relax in the sun and the calm ocean rock him gently. He folded his arms behind his head and gave a jaw cracking yawn, eyes making shapes out of the clouds in the sky.
"Yal-di ha-tov veh ha-rach, al ti-ra veh al tif-chad. My son, I have nothing I can give, but this chance that you may live. I pray we'll meet again…" Harker sang quietly, remembering the voice of the woman in the biblical movie, Prince of Egypt.
"I should watch that again, I should watch all those old movies again actually. I think I still have them on DVD somewhere. Maybe Mum'll know where that are." He muttered, thinking back to his limited supply of movies.
His thoughts were cut short when a shadow was cast over him, for only a split second. He leaned up slightly and squinted at the black silhouette in the sun, blinking when he realised what it was.
"A hawk? Damn, haven't seen one of those in a while."
Leaning back down, he groaned as the hawk once again cut through the rays of his sun. Harker frowned as the hawk periodically circled his relaxed form. He shifted slightly, drawing his knee up and laying one arm across his body in a lazy manner, before letting out a content sigh.
Suddenly, sharp pricks jabbed his skin, alerting him of the waking world and making him open his eyes again. Perched on his knee was the hawk from before, happily grooming its wing, not at all caring about the nap it had just disturbed.
"Hey, I ain't no tree, get." Harker half-heartily muttered, jolting his leg slightly.
The bird only paused for a moment before returning to its wing, tightening its talons slightly. Harker grunted in annoyance, but submitted to the bird's wishes and relaxed again.
The bird let out a loud squawk before hopping off his knee, and landing solidly on his chest instead. He gave a soft 'oomph', before looking down at the bird, coming nose to beak with the damn thing.
"Yes, something you want?"
The bird only tilted its head before dropping into a more comfortable position in the lines of his muscles. He sighed and let his head loll back, not bothering to fight the bird.
Then Harker did something extremely stupid.
He fell asleep at sea.
Harker groaned as he woke up, the bed he was on was solid and hard, not at all like his spring mattress back at home.
"Mum, look! The man is waking up!"
That wasn't English. Not by a long shot.
Harker recognised that dialect, it was the kind his mother had taught him when he was young. Arabic.
Harker opened his eyes warily and sat up slowly, letting out another groan as he did so. Looking around, he noticed that he was in a small shack looking house, made of stone and mud with a dirt floor.
"Luckily you two were found by us, otherwise you would've been killed by the soldiers!"
Harker looked at the source of the voice and saw a dark skinned boy, his eyes and hair were black, and his hair was pulled back by a wound up cloth. His clothing was dated and his feet were bare, he was well muscled, but not as much as Harker, this was probably due to how unnaturally thin the boy was.
"Where are you from? How'd you end up here?" He asked eagerly, standing from his wooden chair and walking towards him.
Harker turned and placed his feet on the ground before trying to stand, only to fall back down swiftly.
"You okay? You shouldn't move. Mum'll get mad if you do, 'plenty of rest' she says." The boy said quickly, placing his hands on Harker's shoulders.
"Um, thanks. My names Harker Skylark, I'm from Maroubra." He greeted uncertainly, sticking his hand out to shake.
The boy paused and stared at his hand, a baffled expression on his face. Harker stalled before slowly lowering his hand awkwardly.
"Maroubra? Where's that?" The boy asked, leaning forwards.
A sudden movement startled the two boys as a person behind Harker sat up sharply and gave out a loud gasp.
"Oh hey, the other one's awake too! What's your name?"
Harker watched the girl behind him freeze up at the boy's voice. The girl was entirely different to the boy, and seemed very out of place in the surrounding environment. With blond hair, wide blue eyes and even paler skin than Harker, along with her Western, floral clothes, she looked more like someone he'd find at home compared to the boy in front of him.
She stared at the un-named boy in shock, before vaulting over Harker and grabbing him by his cloth shirt.
"This place? Where is this place?!" She asked, voice edging on hysterical as she let out a stream of American accented Arabic.
'Yes, where is this place?' Harker thought as he looked around again.
"This is the Nile village of Gosen, near the city of Tebe."
"What?" He asked in English, standing sharply to tower over the two.
The two jumped and turned to him sharply, both wide eyed as they looked up at his imposing form.
"The v-village of Gosen is a slave village!" The boy hastily explained, but before he could say more, Harker was knocked over by the girl as she leapt at him, catching him in the gut.
"You! You speak English! Do you know why we're here?! Why we're in ancient Egypt!" The girl asked in English, gripping his bare shoulders as she all but sat in his lap.
"Ancient Egypt!? Why the fuck would either of us be here?! I was in Australia a second ago! That's impossible!"
"I don't know either! I'm a person from the 21st century! I can't be here!" The girl suddenly jumped up and attempted to run out the door, screaming for her brothers.
The boy and his mother bother quickly blocked the doorway quickly.
"Quiet! You can't go outside!" The woman hissed urgently, pushing her from the door as she cast it a fearful look.
"You are a foreigner girl! If they see you, you'll be killed! So will we, and the other foreigner!" The boy urged as he blocked the door further.
The blond girl gasped and covered her mouth as blood drained from her face in fear. Harker sat back down and bit his thumb, not at all happy with the situation.
Suddenly a loud banging rung through the air, making the people in the room jump.
"All slaves responsible for the building of the God's Throne gather in the plaza square! Men go to the construction site, and women go fetch water and add to the oil carts!"
"They're ordering slaves to gather!" Gasped the girl as she peaked through the bars of the window.
The boy grabbed the blond, panicking girl and smiled reassuringly at her.
"My names Sechi," he turned to Harker. "You two must be in trouble let me help you!"
"Sechi! Please help me! I have been taken to this world by an unbelievable power! I'm an American! Carol Rido, I'm not from this time! I'm someone from the 21st century!" The girl – Carol – was crying at this point and grasping Sechi's shirt in desperation.
"American? 21st century?" Harker turned to the poor woman watching this interaction and sighed.
"Sechi! How can I go back to the present?! Tell me!?"
Sechi, shocked and perhaps a little bit scared, looked down at the hysterical girl.
"I don't quite understand what you've said…"
BANG! BANG! BANG!
The occupants of the room jumped and turned to the door.
"Slaves! Time for work! Gather up!"
"I'll be right there, sir!" Sechi called back, before handing Carol off to his mother.
"I'll be careful." He told his mother as he walked out.
"We should cover up your golden hair and white skin." The mother said quickly to the two Westerners. "All the slaves are going out to do labour now."
She quickly dragged the two down onto the floor and began tossing cloth at them.
"Here are some of my husband's old clothes, I think they may fit you." She said to Harker before turning back to Carol.
"I'm Sechi's mother, Sephora. Quickly!"
Carol pulled a piece of cloth over her hair and, behind a sheet held up by Sephora, stripped herself of her Western clothes.
Harker nodded to Sephora and pulled the flimsy piece of cloth on, Harker paused before kneeling on the ground. Grabbing a handful of dirt from the floor and smothering his hair in it, tuning it a musty brown as well as he could.
"Good idea boy, quickly Carol! Dirty your hands, feet and face!"
"Eh?! Dirty my hands and face?!"
Harker rubbed dirt all over his body quickly, having no qualms with a little mud. Jumping up he turned to the two women and nodded quickly.
"Miss, should I follow Sechi since the men and women are separated?" He asked as he tucked his hair under a beige cloth.
Sephora nodded, mildly stunned at the 'miss', and quickly shooed him out of the house.
"Uh! Before you go! What's your name?" Carol asked, holding her hand out to pause him.
Harker turned and held his hand out to shake, noticing Sechi look in the door and recognise the action.
"I'm Harker Skylark, just call me Harker." He introduces as he grasped Carol's hand and gave her a firm shake.
Carol nodded and gave him a shaky smile.
"Nice to meet you Harker."
He nodded and smiled back, releasing her hand.
"You too Carol, though maybe it would have been nicer with less…chaotic circumstances."
Carol let out a small laugh as he jogged towards Sechi, who looked a little sheepish.
"Ah, that's what you were doing before. Sorry about that, I didn't know that." He apologised, rubbing the back of his neck.
Harker shrugged and smiled.
"Nah, it's fine. It's a European custom."
Sechi smiled and led him away from the house and towards a towering wall of decorated stone. Men were swarming around the many stone monuments, some pulling, and some pushing, others climbing, some…yelling and whipping those on the ground.
"So, I though you two were together before. I didn't know you were strangers." He commented as he gave Harker a kind of leather canteen before grabbing one for himself.
"Yeah, we come from two different countries - continents actually. We just happen to speak a common language. It's dumb luck that we ended up in the same place. " And time, he tacked on mentally.
Sechi grinned at him and grabbed a rope before hauling himself up onto one of the monuments.
Harker paused and looked around at all the stone monuments, observing the paintings and designs. He turned and gapped, a sphynx was being dragged across the sand by a small legion of men.
'Amazing. Priti would love this, little history-nut.'
A crack and a shape pain along his back, yanked Harker out of his thoughts. He cringed and turned to his attacker, a glare on his face.
"Get back to work, slave!"
Harker growled quietly, but moved to follow Sechi's example and began to scale the wall after him.
"So, we found this strange boat with you. You were sleeping on it when we found you in the reeds, near Carol." Sechi said after taking a swing of water from his canteen.
Harker took a sip himself, before Sechi's face brightened up and he waved to someone in the crowd of slaves.
"Hey! We need water too!"
Harker followed his line of sight, and saw a dirtied Carol holding a jug of water in her hands. She looked confused and jumpy, nerves frayed from the demands of water coming left and right.
She relaxed once she recognised them and ran to meet them halfway, ready to fill their canteens.
"Nice disguise, but you need to be careful." Whispered Sechi as she filled his canteen.
"Just now, I almost rubbed the dirt off my face." She replied quietly as she moved to Harker.
She paused and her eyes widened, one hand coming up to cover her mouth.
"Harker, your back!"
Harker shook his head and gently patted her head.
"It's fine, I've dealt with worse. So have you, I bet." He said, gesturing to the bite marks he recognised on her ankle.
She quietened and nodded, lowering her head. She turned to Sechi suddenly, weary desperation on her face.
"Sechi, how do I get to the shrine where Ashisu lives?"
He reared back, confused fear clear on his face.
"Idiot! There are lots of officers and soldiers there! Any slaves who enter will be killed!"
Harker took a sip from his canteen as he watched the interaction, wondering Carol's reason for seeing out someone in a place they knew no-one from. Someone of high social standing at that, since they live in a shrine.
"Hey! Sechi, what are you doing?"
Sechi turned and replied to the call, leaving Carol and Harker alone for a moment.
"Carol, why are you trying to find this Ashisu? I thought you didn't know anyone here?"
"Ashisu is the woman who kidnapped me and took me to this time! If I find her, maybe I can go back home! She's the older sister of Menfusiu, the current Pharaoh!"
Harker frowned and crossed his arms, maybe this Ashisu could get him home too? He nodded and smiled at Carol, resting his hand on her shoulder.
"I'll help you where I can, maybe she can get me home too?"
Carol smiled widely and nodded, grasping the jug tighter.
"We just have to wait for Menfusiu to descend the throne! She's follow soon after, I'm sure!"
Harker nodded and withdrew from the girl.
"Harker! C'mon!" Sechi called from up on the wall.
"Commin'!" Harker called back. "Later Carol, don't do anything too crazy."
Running up to the wall, he quickly began to scale it again.
The work was intense and Harker knew that he was going to hurt like all hell in the morning, but he kept it up, knowing he had more strength and energy than Sechi did and thus took most of the weight when hauling up the stones. After setting another stone down, he took a moment to catch his breath as he waited for the next stone brick to be loaded.
"Don't stop! You're working too slowly! It doesn't matter if a female slave dies! Keep pulling, quickly!"
Harker looked up and gasped when he saw Sephora caught under the wheel of the sphinx, almost being crushed.
"Sechi, your mum!" He called to his friend, seeing Sechi's face fall into terror at the sight.
They watched in fear as Carol tried to stop the construction, only to get thrown to the ground. Sechi's attention was taken from the scene to look as Harker's body tensed suddenly when he saw the man unsheathed a knife, and was all but ready to jump off the wall then and there.
A growl rumbled from deep within his chest as he bared his teeth, and Sechi could have very well said, that he looked more like an animal than he did human.
Harker's eyes were ripped from the knife and locked instead on the incoming figure, a man donning fine Egyptian clothes and a cape along with a golden brace.
From their distance, the two couldn't hear what was being said but they both relaxed when the man with the knife bowed and both Carol and Sephora moved away from the sphinx.
"Sechi! Go to your mother! You'll get today to tend to her!" The soldier instructing them yelled from his post.
Sechi turned to Harker uncertainly, but was received with a smile and a nod.
"Go ahead, I remember the way back to your home. I'll be fine." Harker said before calling if the next stone was ready.
Sechi thanked him before propelling down the wall and running after the two retreating women, glancing at the smirking general over his shoulder.
Carol paused when she noticed the lack of Harker and looked to the wall, frowning when she saw him raise the stones with the other slaves. She gasped quietly when she saw General Minue watching her and ran to catch up with Sephora and Sechi.
General Minue smiled as he stored the name 'Carol' in his mind, deciding to keep that strange moment of golden hair to himself. He followed the golden girl's line of sight and stalled, mind going quiet under the intense stare of piercing blue eyes of the man standing upon the Pharaoh's monument, the sun beating down on his back.
"Mrs Sephora, how are you feeling?" Harker asked as he closed the door behind him, pulling off the cloth that covered his head, the dirt long gone from the sweat that gathered.
Sephora smiled at him and gestured to her leg, which was bandaged and splinted. Carol's handy work from the looks of it.
"Thank you for saving her Carol." Sechi thanked, a grin on his face, wide as ever.
Harker sat down by a small basin of water, accepting a wash cloth from Sechi. He sighed as the cool water touched his skin and the grime and sweat of the day's work came off in rivets of water.
Feeling eyes on him, he turned and saw Sechi watching his back with a strange attention. He raised an eyebrow in question, and smirked when Sechi jumped to attention.
"It's just really surprising how pale you both are, you contrast against the dirt really well!" he laughed awkwardly before looking down and talking again.
"And um… that marking on your bicep. It looks a lot like Ra."
Harker blinked before connecting the dots and washing the dirt off the tattoo, revealing the simple sun design.
"Wow, you have a tattoo?" Carol asked, slipping into English as she poked the muscled flesh.
"Yeah, I got it on my 18th birthday." Harker replied to both Carol and Sechi's statements.
"Ah, Sechi! You said you found a strange boat with me, was it white and flat?" He asked, wiping down his legs and front quickly before dumping the rest on his head, a few drops catching Carol who was staring at the pink line going across his back from the whip.
"Yeah, it's under the bed!" Sechi kneeled and dragged Harker's board out from under the wooden frame.
Harker jumped up and took the board off him, twirling it this way and that, looking for any damage. Finding none, he relaxed and thanked Sechi for keeping it.
"No problem, it looked important."
Carol turned back to Sephora who was watching the exchange quietly, before asking a question that had been on her mind for a while.
"What kind of person is General Minue?"
Sephora smiled and looked at her wistfully.
"He is like a shadow…protecting King Menfusiu, he is quite a popular general."
Carol smiled and sat on her knees happily, her shoulders relaxing as her hand came up to play with a piece of her short, blond hair.
"Hm…I never thought there would be a kind hearted general in Ancient Egypt where they took pride in killing people."
'General Minue…he freely let me go despite seeing my hair. Ah, Harker needs to know!'
She turned and quickly shuffled over to him, leaning close as to not be over heard too much.
"Harker, General Minue, the one who let us leave, he knows I have blond hair. He saw it when he saved us." She whispered, switching to English for cautions sake.
Harker stiffened and his grip on his board tightened causing a faint squeak to sound. Carol fidgeted nervously, if she was caught, Harker would be too. He eventually loosened, before tuning to her, his face relaxed and understanding.
"Did he bring it up?" He asked, placing the board down to face her properly.
Carol shook her head and he sagged further, a small smile touching his lips.
"I'll let you off this time, shiela, but do it again and I swear I will blow a blood vessel." He warned, throwing in Australian slang for the hell of it.
Carol tilted her head in confusion, shiela? What?
Harker merely smiled and turned to Sechi, he had been collecting the cloth the two would be wearing to the upcoming celebration.
"Quickly get ready you two, we need to get the parade for the Pharaoh."
Carol pouted and gave an annoyed cry.
"But I just got clean! I have to rub dirt all over myself again?"
Harker shrugged and grabbed another handful of dirt and smothered his face in it. A grin burst forth at the disgusted expression on Carol's face. She rolled her eyes and daintily gathered some dust.
"Boys." She muttered.
"Girls." Harker teased.
Harker stood next to Carol in the crowd of screaming and celebrating slaves, unsure if they were actually happy about getting a new tyrant or were just playing the part. He watched the scanty clad performers with half-hearted interest, keeping one eye on the restless Carol whose heart was still set on meeting the priestess.
"I, Menfuisu here will swear! By wearing the Upper Egypt's White Crown and the Lower Egypt's Red Crown, I will unite the Upper and Lower Egypt! As wished by Ra, I shall rule over all of Egypt!"
Harker looked to the source of the booming voice and raised an eyebrow appreciatively, now while Harker was happy with women, he had no qualms with appreciating a man he felt deserved it. Menfuisu was a young man, in his late teens from the looks of it, with a handsome face and lithe body. His hair was pitch black, and his skin was tanned healthily.
"Long live the Pharaoh!" He joined in quickly when he noticed the looks he was getting from the people around him.
He watched as Menfuisu talked to the woman at his side, to whom he showed a physical likeness, before they both turned and began retreating back into the palace.
"Ah, Ashisu don't leave! Ashisu wait!" Carol surged forward, knocking off her head-dress in her attempts to reach the woman next to the king.
Harker reached out and dragged her back to him, slamming the cloth over her head with a little too much ferocity.
"Don't be an idiot, Carol. Even if you tried, you couldn't each her from here." He hissed into her ear as his arms created a cage around her.
Harker looked up at the castle, eyes scanning the crowd for anyone who could have seen before focussing in on a bald man with a staff. We was beckoning a servant forward and looking towards the girl in Harker's arms with an expression he did not like.
He drilled a hole into the man's head with his eyes, attempting to send his intent at him with his gaze. The man paused talking to the servant and turned slowly, before making eye contact with him. The man froze and took a step back, the grip on his staff wavering under the assault of ice blue eyes, as if a hawk had found its prey.
Carol shifted in his arms, making him look away from the man. He looked down at her as she grasped his shirt, a pleading expression on her face.
"Please, we need to get closer. I need to talk to Ashisu!"
Sechi leaned forward and shook his head.
"This is as far as we can go. This place is surrounded by soldiers, there's no chance to get into the palace." Carol sagged slightly, before perking up, causing Harker to sigh.
"Okay Carol, what's your plan?" He asked, defeated.
"This is a stupid plan." Harker hissed, falling into English now that their Egyptian friend was no longer with them.
"This place is full of soldiers too, let's go check the middle courtyard." Carol said, ignoring Harker's complaint.
Harker rolled his eyes, but crouched and followed the smaller girl along through the plants. He snapped his head to the side and yanked her back into him, when he heard the yell of the nearby guard.
"Was I seeing things?" The guard muttered, rubbing his head before turning back around.
Only then did Harker release his death-grip on the girl, rubbing her back slightly to get her to relax. He sighed, relaxing himself before stepping away from her. Giving her a nod, he let her continue forwards.
Carol flinched as another voice was raised, calling for the attention of the party. She gave a desperate sound as she saw the party of royals begin to go deeper into the walls, and sighed. Turning back to her friend, she shook her head, telling him they couldn't do it.
"Maybe next time, Carol." He whispered, giving her a reassuring smile before taking her hand and leading them back to the home of their benefactors.
"I'm sorry, but could you two share a bed? We don't have enough for the both of you."
Carol peaked out from the head-hole her dress as Harker helped tug it on, her arm half stuck out. She pulled the collar down further to look at Harker, who had an 'I don't really care' expression on.
"Ah…I don't mind but…" She trailed off, thinking about her fiancé, Jimmy.
Harker gave a final tug, getting the nightgown over her head and her arms through. He stood and grabbed his board, laying it on the ground before flopping on it, arms behind his head.
"Nah, you can take the bed Carol, I'll be fine here. Priti would whoop me if she knew I shared a bed with a girl I had only met today." He said, taking an offered pillow from Sephora.
Carol smiled at him, relaxing slightly before sitting on the hard bed. Pulling up the sheets before settling, along with the others.
Harker yawned as he looked at the darkening roof, listening to the sounds of night time Egypt. He wondered if this was the same kind of sounds his mother and Aunty Neith had heard when they were children in Egypt.
'I wonder if Mum and the others are okay. ' He sighed before rolling over glaring at the far wall.
'Maybe time over there has frozen? Maybe the present doesn't exist anymore? Is it even the present? I'm pretty sure now is the present for Sechi and Sephora, it's also kind of the present for me and Carol, we're just aware of the future… Ah fuck it! Let's not go there, mate.'
He grunted, slumping slightly before closing his eyes. He took a deep breath, before stalling sharply when Carol sat up suddenly.
He listened quietly as she breathed quickly and let out a small sob, she jumped out of the bed, running to the door. Opening it sharply, she took off into the night.
Harker cursed before jumping up himself and following her out, noticing their fair hair and skin weren't covered by dirt.
"Carol, get back here." He hissed quickly, not risking yelling in the quiet streets.
She didn't seem to hear him and continued to run, making him follow her out of the town and into the sands near the sphinx.
"No! I don't want to be forgotten!" Carol screamed as she rubbed her tears.
"Carol! God damn it!" He yelled, running up behind her and grabbing her wrist. Their skins only slightly contrasting, and her hair fluttering up and blending with his, blue meeting blue. The familiar colouring seemed to calm Carol, as she slumped into him and wrapped her arms around his solid frame.
"Harker, I want to go home! I want to go back to brother and Jimmy!"
Harker's glare softened, he raised his arms and wrapped his arms around her small frame. She was just as scared as him, reaching her braking point.
He opened his mouth to speak, but a loud gasp rung through the air and cut him off. The two pale skinned teens turned sharply, coming face to face with a familiar man standing downwind from them.
Menfuisu had escaped from the castle with his close friend, General Minue, to go see the new monuments without the crowding of the slaves. He was pleased by the work of the slaves, but not thankful. That's what they're for, was what he thought to himself.
"Pharaoh Menfuisu, come! You must see the great God's Throne!" Minue called from a lower dune of sand, causing Menfuisu to follow after him.
Suddenly, a flash of white caught his eye. He turned just as a rough voice called over the sand, and he saw them.
Two white skinned figures embracing on a high sand dune, golden hair catching the wind and reflecting the moonlight.
Harker turned back to Carol quickly, using his hand on her back to push her in the direction of the village. Once he and Carol was a safe enough distance, looked over his shoulder to glare at the men coming close.
"Ah! Wait up!" The Pharaoh yelled, chasing after them.
"Like hell we are!" Harker hissed, continuing to guide Carol with his hand.
They burst back into the shack belonging to the family of two, to see both occupants awake and alert. Sechi lurched forward and threw questions at them with wide eyes.
"Harker, Carol! Where did you two go?"
Harker pushed Carol the rest of the way in and closed the wooden door behind them, making sure no one had seen them enter the house. He turned to the two to hear Carol explain to Sechi that they had been spotted, Sechi's face paling at the news.
"Carol, Sechi, they don't know we're here. For now, at least, we are safe." Harker reasoned, attempting to calm the shaking teens.
Sechi nodded slowly before stepping away from Carol and tending to his mother, Carol walking shakily over to Harker. He let out a gruff 'oomph' as she slumped against him, her body strung high with tension.
He rubbed her arms rhythmically, sending Sephora a look in exchange for her quiet laugh. He looked down at the shorter girl and gave her a soft smile, giving her arms a quick squeeze before letting go and stepping back.
"C'mon Carol, let's clean-up for Sephora." He urged, turning her gently before stepping past her and picking up a sheet to start folding.
Folding the sheet into a shaky square before handing it off to Carol, Harker systematically worked through the sheets. Tossing a pillow to Sechi to place with the rest, he smiled as Sephora took as sip of water, prodding her leg with her free hand.
Harker frowned as the noise outside suddenly began to rise, quiet humming turning to the horse yells of men. He stood straighter as the yelling came closer, tensing as Sechi stuck his head outside before reeling back in and slamming the door.
"Oh no! The soldiers are looking for you! Quickly, hide somewhere!" He whispered harshly, hastily walking up to them.
Carol turned to Harker, and they knew they had shared the same thought. They had to get out of there.
"We can sail over the Nile River and find safety there." Carol said.
Carol threw herself at Sephora and kissed her on the cheek, thanking her and Sechi for caring for them. Harker grabbed Carol's disguise and threw them at her before changing himself and rubbing dirt all over his skin, thanking Sechi as he did.
As Carol changed, Harker paused and turned to look at his board, he couldn't take it. It was too big and as foreign as they were, it would draw too much attention. He turned to Sephora, a pleading expression on his face.
"Mrs Sephora, could you keep and hide my board? I can't take it with me right not but maybe, one day, I can come back for it." He asked, grasping her hands.
She paused before giving him a sad smile, gripping his hands back. She gave a nod and instructed Sechi to hide it back under the bed.
"I want to go too! Harker, Carol!" Sechi stated, standing.
Carol spun around and held her hand out.
"No Sechi! You can't!" She exclaimed, fear on her face.
Harker stood next to her, gabbing her face and rubbing dirt into her skin as she spoke. Deciding to let her do the talking as he set up for their departure.
"Carol, you two don't know your way around here, can you two get out of here safely? You saved my mother's life, Carol, I should protect you in return!" He claimed, turning to his mother.
"Mum! Can I go with them?" He asked.
"Yes Sechi, go with them!" She agreed, sitting up.
This made Harker turn and look at her, shouldn't her son be her first priority? Not some strange people who could get them killed?
He grunted as Carol dragged him into a hug, sighing before wrapping and arm around the thin women.
"Thank you Sephora, Sechi, for looking after us." He mumbled, retracting from the hug.
Sephora smiled up at him, before laying back and watching her son and the two dirt-covered, pale people run out the door. Feeling a strange lightness as the golden haired man's white boat sat under her bed, a secret only the four of them knew of.
"Let's go! While the soldiers aren't here!" Sechi urged, glancing over his shoulder.
Harker gave a grunt in reply as he pushed the reeds out of the way for the three of them, Carol's hand full of a bundle containing their modern clothing. Carol kept her head down, making sure not to let her hair be seen again.
"Sechi, the Nile's nearby right? I can smell the water." Harker commented, noticing the land under his feet gain a moist feel.
"Yeah, just up ahead." Was his reply, Carol giving a relieved sigh.
The trio turned sharply to see a man walk out of the reeds, Harker's eyes narrowing at the knife he held in his hands. Harker moved to tower over the man, his body obscuring the man's sight of the two younger teens.
The man glared at him, grip tightening on the hilt of his blade.
"Are you three fleeing from Gosen village?"
Carol reeled back and covered her mouth as she gasped, the man unsheathed his blade and Harker tensed up.
"You must be the Golden Haired girl! Take your cloth off now!" The man surged forward, trying to get around Harker.
"Carol, run!" Sechi yelled.
Harker grabbed the man by his collar and tugged him back, hand clamping down in the wrist holding the knife. The man kicked and writhed in his grasp, making Harker slowly add strength to his grip and drive his thumb into the man's wrist. The man eventually gave and dropped his knife, making Sechi pick it up and store it in his belt.
"Hey Sechi, ever knocked someone out before?" Harker asked, tightening his hold on the man.
Harker smiled and spun the man in his grip around sharply, before rearing back and giving a strong punch to the man's jaw.
The man's eyes rolled up into his skull, before he sagged and Harker dropped his body to the sandy ground.
He looked up to meet Sechi's stunned expression and shrugged, stepping over the man's body.
"I took self-defence in year 10." He explained, only further confusing the poor slave boy.
A scream rung through the air, making the two boys jump to attention. They traded a look, both recognising the voice, Carol's.
"Quickly!" Harker yelled as they took off towards the Nile.
"Help me, Harker! Sechi!" They heard through the reeds as they ran, the sounds of soldiers and horses making themselves known.
They burst through the reeds to see the Pharaoh Menfuisu carrying off a clean Carol, flanked by two horsemen.
"FUCK!" Yelled Harker, making Sechi jump.
"Sechi, do you know a way into that god-damned palace?" He asked, whipping around to face the smaller boy.
Sechi gave a nod, determination clear in his expression.
"Yes, I know a way. Come quickly!"