-1To be a Father

Disclaimer: Nope, don't own it! Kazuki Takahashi does.

The current ruler of Kemet, the Lord of the Two Lands, the Pharaoh Aknumkhanon, felt that the world had slowed down, crystallized into a single intense moment of being, as he gazed down at his newborn son. He had just returned from presenting the child to the thousands of his subjects who had gathered to catch a glimpse of the new prince, greeting his presence with raucous cheering.

The Pharaoh had felt slightly detached from the scene when the child had first been laid into his arms, trying to connect the tiny wailing infant to himself, this noisy bundle of energy he had suddenly been presented with, to himself and his own actions. For a moment he had simply gazed down at the child as he lay in his vizier's arms (had he not been overwhelmed with the situation, the Pharaoh felt sure he would have felt some amusement at the sight that the new prince in his swaddling appeared almost half the size of his short-statured advisor).

Now all was quiet, as he found a few moment's rest in an antechamber off the throne room, cradling his son in his arms. How changeable the child's moods! He went from sobbing to contented cooing at the slightest gesture from his father, such as when he had touched his nose when he first held him. Now he was quiet, gazing up from where he lay swaddled in linen, squirming slightly in his father's hold. Pharaoh Akhenemkhanen couldn't take his gaze from him, his tiny dark-skinned body and beautiful, slightly unfocused violet eyes. His father's eyes.

He was so tiny, so helpless. At that moment, even though he knew he had an entire royal retinue to help him, the Pharaoh felt that the child in his arms encompassed his duty as King, that he alone was responsible for the boy's care, just as he was entrusted with the lives of his subjects. Soon he would face more people, present the child to his court, become swept up in the duties of Pharaoh, but for now he was entirely focused on the newborn child he held in his arms, and the newly forming bond of love he could feel growing in his heart.

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As the weeks and months passed, the reigning Pharaoh became more and more focused on his child, becoming enraptured by his every action, as he lay and kicked his legs, reached out with tiny hands and tiny fingers towards his father leaning over when he lay, his tears, his gurgles of laughter. One of these such elements was his son's hair: Aknumkhanon had never seen the like of its shape and multiple colours before, except maybe his trusted vizier.

Said vizier seemed almost as delighted at the child's presence as the new father: he had loudly cooed at the child, talking animatedly to him, swooping him in his arms with more energy than would be expected for a man of his age until the child gurgled happily.

Somewhere, deep down, Aknumkhanon knew it couldn't go on forever. His child was a healthy boy, his only son, and so, as his loyal vizier had proclaimed on the day of his birth, the future ruler of their land. Preparations for such a daunting task would be long and difficult, and he knew his son would not have an easy time of it, despite his high-born status. In fact, it was because of his fate that he would suffer so - the leader of such a great nation had to be strong, courageous, able to deal with hardship in order to defend the multitudes who would one day depend on him. His brother, the high priest Akunadin, had already, as harshly as he dared, reminded him of this, and although his words made sense, Aknumkhanon thought he saw something in the man's eyes that, although he could not state for certain, made him clutch his son more tightly to him.