Des: GWAAAAAH Gomen gomen gomen (Sorryx3) everyone! @_@ Des slackered off in writing her piece because she was getting a new harddrive! Tonikaku (anyway) we've got a new chapter up and it's uber-spiffy! The plot keeps thickening here on out so don't give up on us ne? ^_^;;

Daisy: Hihi, Minna-san! ^__^ 'Tis what you have been waiting for: chapter four! MUWAHAHAHAHA! The story will get told, no matter how long it takes X3

A week had passed, and Bakaré and Kythiopia found themselves drawn almost irresistably to each other. The thief's visits became more frequent, and he always managed to creep inside the palace grounds without anyone seeing. However, tonight was different. This night, someone was watching as they said their farewells. Seth gazed in fascination as Bakaré left her with a kiss on the hand. One of the most notorious thieves in Egypt was romantically involved with Kythiopia? Seth grinned to himself. This could truly prove to his advantage. Already his mind calculated. But first, he needed to discover where in his plans this particular guard would fit. He knew the Pharaoh favored her, so the Priest was aware of her value. He had to measure it precisely, he thought as he approached.

Kythiopia turned quickly at the sound of rustling fabric, only to see Seth again. But this time the look on his face was different. She studied him as he hailed her.

"Good day, Kythiopia."

"Night," she corrected, an eyebrow twitching slightly.

"Ah, yes." He smiled, hesitating.

"Did you want something?" she asked, looking a tad irate, as she usually did in his presence.

"Indeed. It is common knowledge that you are one of the Pharaoh's most favored bodyguards, and I have heard that you've dabbled in some magical aspects as well. Am I correct?"

"You are."

"Your reputation impresses me," he stated. "Perhaps you would honor me with a match?"

Kythiopia paused. So now Seth wants to spar. She had to admit, the chance to attack him -was- appealing. Turning away from him, she took up her glaive.

"Very well." She looked up at him. "I hope you are ready."

"Oh, I can assure you, Kythiopia, I am very ready."

They stood in the courtyard, moonlight washing the tiles as a wind began to blow some dust into the air. The female's dark hair flowed as she stared into his eyes, trying to predict his moves. The Priest held his staff out in front of him, speaking quietly to himself. Of course! Magic, she thought, before leaping to the right, dodging a bolt of lightning and landing on her feet. Well, that meant he wasn't going to make the first move. She charged at him, both hands gripping the weapon, blade flashing with the light of more magic bolts. She plunged it to his side!

Seth dodged, stepping to her side, now channelling the magic into the staff itself, which glowed a deep purple. He swung it at her, but she parried, her weapon also eminating with a light. It shone gold and lit up her determined face.

"So, you can enhance your weapon using magic!" he exclaimed, their weapons interlocked for the moment.

"Good, you noticed," she replied, before kicking him in the gut and springing back a few feet, swinging her glaive at him and cutting him deeply in the lower chest.

"The first blood is yours, my lady," he smirked. Kythiopia wondered why he wasn't moving, when she noticed the staff was no longer glowing. Perking up, she darted to the left, barely dodging another bolt. The Priest's eyes lit up, surprised she could even have noticed in time.

"That was a nice trick," she commented, sounding irate, before attacking again. She nicked him in the shoulder before drawing the glaive back and grazing his left side. The Priest retreated and moved to the right as if he was going to run behind her. She wheeled around to follow him, but he wasn't there. He had bluffed, she quickly thought, but it was too late this time. The radiant staff slammed into her side, sending her flying. His magic was much stronger than hers!

She writhed in midair, doing an awkward twist to land on her feet, which she was able to do. But now he was behind her, and he seized her at the waist, draping another arm over her chest and craning his neck over her shoulder.

"What will you do now, Kythiopia? Your weapon is too long to hit me from here." He taunted smoothly into her ear before releasing dark energy throughout her whole body through his hands. She let out a yell of pain, but kept her composure, her eyes narrowed, and slowly and painfully she raised her right hand, pointing a small dagger at his outstretched throat and pricking it. Seth's concentration - and spell - broke.

"Where were you holding that?!" He demanded, glancing down and noticing the knife.

"At your throat." She replied calmly. "If you would allow me to continue this battle normally?"

The priest looked a tad shocked. If Kythiopia was fighting seriously, if she knew he was her enemy, he would be dead right now. He nodded, releasing her and stepping back, viewing her with scrutiny. She charged again, and he parried her glaive, but she stabbed at him in the stomach with the knife. Seth recoiled, and she drew back her larger blade and pierced his skin a second time. They continued to fight, dodging, parrying and striking. By now Seth knew that Kythiopia was too fast to have the time to cast bolts. Although the magic in his staff was mightier, Kythiopia had amazing reflexes and accuracy. Soon she had him backed into a wall, holding her luminous glaive at his stomach and her dagger at his heart.

"Checkmate." She looked into his eyes with intensity as a bead of sweat rolled down her brow.

"You have fought well. I see that the reports of your skills were not exaggerated." His eyes had lit up.

Kythiopia lowered her glaive and knife. "I hadn't heard those reports, but I thank you for your compliment."

The priest smiled, speaking in what seemed a friendly tone. "So, tell me, Kythiopia, where have you been lately? I haven't seen much of you for.....several weeks now."

Her brow furrowed. "Have you been looking for me?"

"I might have been. I am always looking for talented sorcerers to assist me in my work." He responded.

Kythiopia arched an eyebrow. She was hardly what you'd call a sorceress, at least at this point. Was he merely commenting on her potential? And what did he mean by "his" work?

"Good day." He gave a slight bow, before wandering off bemusedly.

She followed Seth with her eyes, before turning in the opposite direction and leaving.


Bakaré again crept along the now-familiar path leading to the Pharaoh's palace. He and Kythiopia had planned to meet that night, much to his pleasure.

He descended over the wall, smirking as one of the guards turned to look and only saw shadow.

Kythiopia was waiting for him a short ways ahead, and he was very shortly at her side, offering a wildflower that he had found on his travels.

"Good evening," he said with a fanged smile.

Kythiopia accepted the flower, a smirk playing on her lips. "You are more interesting without this kind of gesture," she commented, not critically.

Bakaré had to chuckle. "I do not do such things very often," he admitted. Flowers were not something one generally associated with the King of Thieves.

Kythiopia chuckled as well as they started out, letting Bakaré take her arm.


Seth was waiting for them to come back. Hiding in the shadows, he had a clear view of them when they did.

"You have made a wonderful evening, Kythiopia," Bakaré was saying as he leaned down and kissed the dark-haired woman. They had spent many long, enjoyable hours on a walk which included a stop at a small hill that overlooked the palace.

Kythiopia accepted his kiss, though she didn't return it, and smiled. "Well, don't give me all the credit."

Bakaré caressed her cheek. "I will see you tomorrow, Kythiopia."

"Goodnight," was the reply, "and may the morning come swiftly."

"It will be a long night," Bakaré declared, kissing her hand before vanishing into the shadows.

Seth sneered. Now was the time to make his move.


As Bakaré headed for the outer wall, a sound from behind him immediately caused him to change his mind. Someone was here, watching him! He tensed up, preparing for a fight. As the King of Thieves, he came through many of those.

"My pardons," Seth exclaimed, holding up a hand in protest when he was met by the thief's fist within an inch of his face. "I only wish to speak with you."

Bakaré regarded him suspiciously. "Who are you?" he demanded.

"Seth is my name." The high priest stood all mysterious and regal, smirking to himself. "Perhaps you have heard it."

Bakaré seemed very much surprised. "You are the Pharaoh's High Priest?!" What would the high priest want with him, the King of Thieves, unless he was planning to make an immediate arrest?

"That is correct," Seth said, still smiling in a strange way.

"What do you want with me?" Bakaré growled, ready to make a hasty exit or still have that fight if needs be.

"I require someone of your talents, you see," Seth announced smoothly. "There is something I want you to retrieve for me, or rather, a few items. With them, the both of us could become very powerful." He was smirking now.

"Exactly what kinds of items are you talking about?" Bakaré wanted to know.

"Ones that are very coveted, and are said to possess the powers of darkness." Seth would tell the thief more once he agreed, which the high priest was certain he would.

Bakaré mulled over this information in his mind. "I see. And where exactly are these items supposed to be?"

"That remains a mystery," Seth admitted.

Bakaré was not impressed. "You must have some idea. Even I cannot make items appear out of thin air," he said sarcastically.

"You are very shrewd," Seth said. "Indeed, I'm sure I know at least the area in which they are concealed. However, I will dispense no further knowledge until I have your allegiance."

Bakaré was greatly tempted by Seth's proposal, of course, but as a wise thief he knew he had to be cautious. He wasn't about to be led into a trap. "Does the Pharaoh know that you are searching for them?" he demanded, closing one eye and squinting at Seth.

Seth found this highly amusing. "The Pharaoh," he repeated, chuckling. "No, he remains unaware of what I seek."

Bakaré crossed his arms, smirking as well by now. "Hmm. And how do I know you can be trusted?" he asked smoothly.

"I have no reason to be untrustworthy," Seth replied, having expected the question from the King of Thieves. "I also want the items, do I not?"

Again Bakaré considered everything, but soon his mind was made up, greed seeping into his heart. "Alright," he agreed. "I will retrieve these items, but you must tell me more about them first."

Seth smiled at his victory. "Very well. Let us talk somewhere more private."


The next few days and nights passed slowly for Kythiopia. Bakare was apparently busy with something, and thus she had been growing more and more dedicated to her guard. She squinted at the star-studded horizon. There wasn't any action tonight. She perked up as she heard footsteps approaching and raised her right arm to hold her dagger in front of her, but not in a place where anyone could see it from behind. He was coming ever-closer. Were it an enemy, she would wheel around and plunge it into his heart, suprising him. She could tell he was getting into close range where her glaive would be less effective. It was definitely not a friend, her mind was telling her. One... two...

"We meet again." Seth's voice purred into her ear. "G-"

"Night," she corrected him before he could make his common mistake, lowering the secret weapon. So much for that, she thought, turning around with a soldierly gait. He chuckled mirthfully.

"You seem to be in a good mood," she commented.

"Why, yes. Things seem to be going quite well." He smiled warmly upon her, not exactly saying what he meant by that. However, it was clear that he had more to talk about. He had wanted to meet with Kythiopia today. He paused, weighing the question over in his mind before uttering it.

"Tell me, Kythiopia. Where do your loyalties lie?"

"That is a curious question," she responded warily. "Of course, with the Pharaoh."

"You are convinced, then, that he is running everything exactly as he should?" He spoke casually, but seemed to toy with his words in a playful sort of way.

"Do you think otherwise?" Kythiopia raised an eyebrow.

"Perhaps I think that I would do a better job." Seth sat down on the nearby steps, a sly look on his face.

The guard remained silent, leaning forward in scrutiny.

Seth continued. "And perhaps I also think that you, with your immense talents, should not be wasting your time with the Pharaoh."

"It may be you who is wasting my time," she retorted. She stood back up, taking a few steps backward and narrowing her eyes in suspicion.

Seth was undaunted. "You are one who possesses many great and terrible powers. The Pharaoh does not allow you to reach your highest potential." He stood to his feet as well, moving closer to her. "But you would not have that same problem with me."

She turned her back on him. "Well, I don't believe I will ever know that."

"Please, Kythiopia." He spoke respectfully. "Give me a chance to prove it to you."

"You will not get that chance without committing treason," she hissed. "And I cannot help you there."

He smiled in an apparently agreeable way, hiding his secretly nasty thoughts. "I see. Forgive me, Kythiopia, for bothering you."

She turned back around and stared suspiciously into his eyes, before walking back to her post and leaving him there.

He stood and went back inside the palace. "Soon, Kythiopia. I will have you help me, whether you will it or not." Seth sneered to himself. Nothing would get in his way! Nothing at all!