Here is the very very long awaited Chapter 16! MUCHO APOLOGIES for taking so long to write it. First I had writer's block and then things got super hectic for a while. Then I finally was able to start writing but I didn't have to motivation to finish. Until someone reviewed and made me smile and want to write. Thank You BlessedChi , Slinny xo, serena83, Cryo89, and everyone else that has been checking up on me and favoriting my fanfic Enjoy!
Chapter 16: Lunar Eclipse
Sayuri had slept for two whole days and when she woke up she was in a different tent and Ebo was with her. Having Ebo with her surprised her the most but Sayuri was relieved that he was with her. She knew she could escape with him but when he told her how he had actually came to the camp Sayuri knew it would be harder without any sense of direction. "I wonder how long I've been here." Sayuri thought out loud. Sayuri and Ebo where in the tent of a man named Eli and his wife, Zera , who was taking care of Sayuri's wound.
"Well when I left the general and traveled after ya, I think it was about six days. So I think we've been here for nine days." Ebo said as he played with the thread on his shirt.
"Only one day left," Sayuri whispered and held the ankh in her hand, feeling the edges dig into her palm. Zalika, the High Priestess of Isis had told her that the ankh would not be able to protect her on the night of the lunar eclipse; and if she was by any water, Yamanu would be able to find her. Sayuri felt a familiar twinge of panic in her stomach; she had to get out of this camp.
"You knew that we were moving the camp?" Eli came into the tent and Sayuri stiffened. "I thought that was top secret," His voice was light and he looked over to Ebo with a grin, "Been sneaking around again huh? We should put a bell on you." Ebo grinned proudly but shook his head.
"Nah, she ain't talking about moving." Ebo squeezed Sayuri's hand, "Don't worry I'll protect you," He said softly. Sayuri felt her heart melt and the young boy's words. He was so brave.
"Well I guess I just gave away the secret," Eli said throwing his hands in the air with a shrug. "Oh well. But we are moving to a different camp. This one is farther away from the battle."
Sayuri thought right away of Ramses and she wondered if he was looking for her. She knew he had a battle to fight with the people that had taken her and a part of her hoped he would find her soon. She had always thought she would be with him when the lunar eclipse happened. "Where are we moving to?" Sayuri asked.
Eli looked at Sayuri, when they had brought her back to the camp he was told stories of how she ended up with the Kamahi and her brave yet foolish escape. The people were starting to believe that she was the reincarnation of Isis as the Egyptian soldiers believed. This Sayuri has even proved herself by defeating Kahotep's Second Malachi in the hija. The hija being a battle for power and if this woman knew of their ways she would be the second in command right now. Eli held the third position and that suited him just fine, even though he was Kahotep's younger brother. Regardless Kahotep and others of the camp regarded Sayuri with a sense of awe and curiosity. Eli, after having her in his home and seeing her interact with Ebo, believed that she was a young woman that didn't have any business being in this war, she was kind even if she was wary. "We are moving to one of my favorite places," Eli smiled at her, "It is hidden away and very hard to find, but also near a big oasis that has the sweetest water."
Sayuri felt her stomach drop at the mention of water, "When are we leaving?"
"Everyone is packing now."
Sayuri felt Eli squeeze her hand tighter and she felt the blood drain from her face. Before thinking, "I can't go," slipped through her lips, shaking with fear.
Eli looked at her in confusion, "Everyone goes, it isn't a choice."
Sayuri bit her lip to stop herself from revealing too much, "I need to talk to Kahotep, "She said quickly, "I can't go-, everything will turn out badly," Already Sayuri was already trying to get up, "Let me speak to him; can't we move after tonight?"
"We can't wait until tonight," Kahotep came into the tent. He had been passing by and had heard Sayuri.
She still couldn't believe how much Akil and Kahotep looked alike and yet so different. They had the same features but where Akil was cold and unfeeling, Kahotep was strong and passionate.
"The Egyptians are sending scouts to look over the area and are getting to close," Kahotep only talked to her, "It seems general Ramses is missing his concubine."
At the mention of Ramses Sayuri felt her heart think about him while she held back a retort. Kahotep had only spoken to her a few times and even them Sayuri saw the differences between the two men. She knew that Kahotep knew Akil but not their relationship with one another, even though they had to be brothers.
Kahotep looked at her for one more second before turning to his younger brother, "Eli go and help Malachi with the horses and carts. A storm is approaching and I don't want anything damaged during the travel. Then Kahotep glanced at the boy and Eli nodded.
"Come Ebo," Eli said grabbing the boy on the scruff of his shirt playfully dragging him out of the tent, "You've been lazing around long enough."
"I ain't lazin', I'm protectin'!" Ebo protested and swatted Eli's hand away, but followed him none the less. This left Sayuri and Kahotep along together in the tent.
When Eli left with Ebo, Kahotep turned his gaze towards Sayuri. She turned away from him and pretended to be very interested in her sleeve, there was a loose thread that she fiddled with.
"My apologies if your clothes aren't what you are used to." His tone was not sarcastic but not entirely sincere.
Sayuri looked up at him, startled, "They are just fine," in fact if they had pants they would be perfect, fitting her style perfectly, loose and not flashy. There was an awkward pause as they looked at each other in confusion both not expecting each other's reactions. Kahotep recovered first.
"Is there any other reason why we should wait another day beside that your Ramses is getting closer?" His tone was serious with a little mocking.
Sayuri held his gaze, "Ramses is not mine." She told him before she could stop the words. They were true, not matter how much it hurt to admit.
"Then is there any other reason or is this conversation over?" Kahotep had things that needed to be done but he was intrigued about the young woman. Sayuri licked her lips and Kahotep's sharp gray eyes caught the movement. She was just like the goddess Isis that so many had come to call her. Kahotep had seen it back in the Egyptian camp. She looked so soft and fragile, belonging in a beautiful cage rather than out on the battle field. But she had shown a brilliant spirit when he had first seen her, offering herself to them to save the General when most woman, like the one with her, would have given up the location without a second thought. She had also proven herself when she had battled like a lioness even when she was injured. Kahotep didn't believe that Egyptians where teaching woman to fight anymore. He had never met anyone outside his village that had as much spirit as she did and it was layered nicely with a gentleness that she wore like a second skin.
"I can't be by water," Sayuri spoke bringing Kahotep back to the conversation.
"Why is that?"
Sayuri looked torn about what she was going to say and how it would affect the people around her and even Ramses.
"I'm afraid of it." She said quickly not looking up.
"You are lying" He replied swiftly. He could see she was torn about telling him the truth and was afraid of what might happen if she didn't.
Sayuri sighed clutching her ankh, "You wouldn't believe me." She said softly, but she knew she had to tell him something of else he wouldn't let it go.
Kahotep softened at her distraught look, she was deathly afraid of something, "Sayuri," She looked up at him; "I have seen and heard many things in my life. You are now under my care as long as you here. Tell me what it is you are so afraid of."
"Tonight is a lunar eclipse and a man wants to and will be able to come and kill me."
"Who is this man?" Kahotep replied his eyes turning to sharp steel.
"I don't know." Sayuri didn't want to give him too much information.
"You are lying to me again Sayuri," His voice was deep and commanded that she didn't lie to him again. He took a step closer to her and grabbed her chin softly making her look at him. "I cannot protect you if I don't know what I'm up against."
Sayuri looked away, her heart beating fast in a panic. She could tell Kahotep was serious about protecting her, but would that change if she told him the truth? That her death would kill the pharaoh that was killing off his people, Sayuri knew if she mentioned that it was a priest that wanted to kill her he would definitely demand to know more.
"I-I can't tell you more, I'm sorry," She whispered. Kahotep dropped her chin and she dropped her head to her chest.
Kahotep straightened and looked at her, "Then, without a reason, I will not delay the move. I'm sorry," He told her. Sayuri looked up at the tone of his voice, he actually sounded sad that she didn't trust him but his gaze gave nothing away. "We will be leaving soon so we can reach the oasis by night fall. And I wouldn't suggest you try to run. That sandstorm is right behind us." He said over his shoulder as he left the tent.
In a few hours the camp was completed gone, not a trace was left behind as everything was packed on camels and horses. Sayuri was given a horse to ride because her wound was still healing while Ebo walked beside her. Her horse was tethered to Kahotep's black horse, the one she had tried to steal. As they started off Sayuri saw many of the villagers and how they interacted with each other. They were like a big family that got along well together. Helping the elders out, the children laughing and running alongside their scolding mothers, everyone seemed so kind to each other. Sayuri also saw a different side to Kahotep, a kinder side when he showed affection towards the children and she even heard his laugh when one of his men told a funny story. He horse always seemed to be leading to way even though he hardly rode the beast. Often he would get off to let the horse rest or Kahotep would put some of the children on the horse to ride. Many of the villagers were curious of her but would only look at her oddly and whisper to each other. The looks weren't sinister, more just curious than anything else. The children would come up as close as they dared and smile up at her. She would smile back and they'd run off giggling. Sayuri looked down and Ebo and he shrugged with a small grin on his face.
Malachi's horse came pounding up after they started walking again from their mid- afternoon break. He went right up beside Kahotep, jumped off while the horse was midstride and landed next to Kahotep who was walking.
"Your attention is need at the back of the caravan." He told him with a look of frustration, "Vena and Sara are at it again and won't listen to anyone."
Kahotep nodded, "Keep everyone moving," he said as they switched places and Kahotep rode Malachi's horse to the back.
There was silence before one of the children spoke up, "You have pretty hair," They shy eight-year old proclaimed.
Sayuri smiled, "Thank you. I like yours too."
"Where did you learn how to fight?" The boy next to her asked, "It was amazing the way you whoosh!" He sliced the air with his hand, "and then Malachi was on the ground!" Everyone laughed.
"Hey!" Malachi said making to swipe the boy, but the children were too quick and ran off giggling. Sayuri would have felt worried if there wasn't a cheerful grin on Malachi's face. When the children left she spoke to him softly.
"I'm sorry," She told him. He looked back at her in surprise, "I didn't mean any offense when I attacked you. I-I was just confused."
Malachi laughed, "I should be the one apologizing. I shouldn't come at you like I did. It was my own fault for trying to tangle with a wounded sacred lioness." He winked at her, "Next time I won't be so easily surprised. He grinned and Sayuri couldn't help but grin back.
The rest of the trip to the oasis was pleasant with many of the women and children finally getting the courage to come up to Sayuri and smile and politely chat with her. When Kahotep came up many people chatted with him and joked around. She saw a different side of him, still a leader but kind and warm to his people and often ruffling the children's hair and talking with the women and men. It was like one big family that all cared for each other and welcomed Sayuri to that warmth. It was not something she was used to but she found it hard to resist.
But with the sun stinking faster than she liked she felt fear start to bubble inside of her, while everyone was chatting excitedly about reaching the oasis. The sun was just setting when they reached the oasis and Sayuri couldn't deny that it was wonderful. Many of the younger children and some of the older ones dove right into the crystal blue water while the elder's sat in the shade cooling themselves off. Everyone was busy unloading the animals, watering them and unpacking. Seven of the men started unrolling tarps and setting up shelters for the upcoming sand storm. Already the wind had picked up.
Kahotep helped Sayuri down and held her for a minute while the pain left her side, "You are shaking," he remarked and Sayuri pulled away from him. Ebo was at her side instantly and she patted her arm gently, she smiled down at him.
They had just gotten everything tied up and shelters made when the sandstorm created a thick grainy wall between them and the setting sun and washed everything in a gritted bath. When the storm finally past; the dark sky greeted them with dazzling stars and the full moon. Torches were lit and fires were made to make dinner. The dark mirror of the water sparkled like black crystal under the torchlight and starts. Out of the corner of her eye Sayuri kept an eye on the water and another on the steadily rising moon. She stayed away from the gaiety of the people that were now settling down for the night. Ebo had come and brought her food as Sayuri kept an eye on the water and the other on the steadily rising moon. It was getting later into the night and the long walking had exhausted Ebo. His eyes started faltering as he fought to stay up.
"You can sleep Ebo, it is alright."
"I ain't." He told her in a groggy voice. "Not 'til everything is alright."
"It is fine Ebo," She patted his shoulder and ruffled his hair, "I'm awake enough for the both of us." Sayuri knew she wouldn't be able to relax enough for sleep until the eclipse was over.
"No- I gotta stay up." He said even as his eyes closed. He was mumbling for a while before he finally fell asleep. Sayuri covered him with a blanket as she got up and left. She didn't want him captured or worse killed because of his association with her. Next, she went in search of a weapon. Whatever was going to happen; she would be ready.
The camp was quiet except for the occasional snore and crack of fire. Still Sayuri stayed to the shadows and out of the gazes of the men standing guard. How she was going to get a sword she didn't know but with the moon high in the sky Sayuri knew she didn't have much time. When she stepped out of the first tent with no luck the lunar eclipse was already starting. She clutched her ankh knowing that from this point on it wouldn't protect her. The white full moon slowly lost its light as the earth cast its shadow. Someone touched her shoulder and Sayuri gasped and twirled around to face to face with Eli.
"What do you think you are doing?" He asked her. He gave her a wry smile, "You're acting like someone is out to get you," He chuckled but stopped when she didn't smile back. "What's wrong?" He asked worriedly. "Do I need to get Kahotep?" He turned to get Kahotep who was on night duty when she grabbed his arm.
"Why? Sayuri what is wrong?" This time he grabbed her arms.
"I-I," Sayuri didn't know what to say.
Suddenly a gentle breeze of the desert stopped into a dead silence. Eli looked out to the night that had turned pitch black, the moon fully covered. Sayuri felt stiff in his arms, as he looked at her in the dim torchlight, her eyes were on where the moon was. "What?" He asked her.
"I need a weapon." She told him as she looked at him. Her voice was steady because she knew that she couldn't run away anymore. It was time and she had to defend herself or most likely die. She couldn't run away from the camp because she had no idea where she was. Plus, on the journey here, many people had been generous to her and she felt comfortable with the people. She could have been treated horribly as a prisoner but they had welcomed her. Something that even her own family didn't do much of.
Eli was shocked, not sure what to say. She looked up at him, resolve shining in her eyes. "Please Eli; I need something to protect myself with. Something-, someone is coming and I need to protect myself."
Eli saw the determination I her eyes and her nodded. He turned to go and Sayuri was about to follow. She stopped short when she saw him skirt past to the oasis. She waited in the oppressive silence for what seemed like an hour when a splash from the oasis making her jump. But it was just Eli coming towards her caring a sword.
"Sorry. It's really pitch black out here, you can't see-," He gave a small cry before falling crumpled, the sword flying from his hands with a big shadow standing over him, chuckling.
"Now, little princess, it is time to do what you were brought here for," Sayuri recognized Badru's voice. "Yamanu was very angry that Leila failed to bring you back early," He took a step towards her, "He wanted to see what other powers he could use with your blood until he killed you," His voice was meaning and Sayuri felt a cold chill at the insinuation.
He took a step towards her placing a huge axe over his shoulder. Sayuri took one look at the axe and lunged for the sword Eli had dropped. Badru lunged at her swinging his axe straight towards but she blocked his stroke with the sword sheath. The force of his strength reverberated all throughout her body and made her muscles protested at the brute strength bearing down on her. Sayuri's arms shrieked at her and she finally pulled every once in her body to shove away from Badru and get on her feet steadying herself.
He laughed at her. "Do you even know how to use that?" Sayuri glared at him while unsheathing your sword not answering his question. "I guess I won't be able to take you in pristine condition like Yamanu asked."
"There is no way I'm going with you!" She told him. He frowned at her retort and raised his axe, coming right at her.
She was ready for him. She blocked his axe with the sword, hearing the metal biting the wood hardly making a dent in the dense wood. She pulled away from him before he could over power her. She heard Ramses in her mind when they had been training. Since men usually relied on their power she would have to rely on her speed and small size to get into places people didn't usually go for. He came at her again and she moved out of the way swinging her sword with all her might only to hit wood again. He was laughing at her but Sayuri stayed cool. She had to focus when she fought him because he could overpower her at any moment. Sayuri knew she had to wait for any opening that he would unwillingly give her. Sayuri didn't realize that they had moved away from the camp and towards the oasis and she knew that if she was near the water she was in trouble. Badru's feet splashed in the water and he grinned, kicking the water at her. Sayuri dodged it and he chuckled.
"What, afraid of a little water?" He grinned and kicked the water again.
"I don't think it matter's if she is afraid or not. What does matter is that you are not welcomed here." A voice came from out of the shadows. Underneath the faint starlight and torchlight Sayuri saw Kahotep's figure. "I suggest you leave before you pay for trespassing with your life." He drew his own sword.
Suddenly the water bubbled around her and shot up to wrap around her legs. Flash backs of nearly being drowned to death hit her like a hammer and she fought against the water trying to run but not being able to move her feet. Kahotep called her name and started to run toward her only to have Badru intercept him. Blades clashed and both pulled apart a little surprised at each other's strength.
"I can't kill the girl but I sure can kill you!" Badru laughed a grin making his face grotesque. They started circling each other and swung at each other. They came together each time with a loud crash and each time Kahotep had to step back, his strength weaken against the big brute.
Sayuri tried to take another step to go and help Kahotep, only to be tripped by the water which started to drag her into the oasis into a big black whirl pool waiting for her. Sayuri grabbed onto the sparse grass trying to drag herself away from the water and towards the sword she has accidently dropped. Already the eclipse was fading; the light of the moon coming back and Sayuri felt a little power return to the ankh as she reached for her sword. She flipped herself onto her back and sliced at the water off her legs. The water shattered but Sayuri knew that wouldn't stop Yamanu, he was desperate and would come back full force until the eclipse was totally gone.
Voices where coming towards all of them and Sayuri knew people where starting to wake up from the noises. But she couldn't think about that right now. Kahotep was stumbling with gash on his arm and a shallow cut on his leg. He was slowly down and Badru was using it to his advantage. But with the dark eclipse losing its strength Sayuri shot up and ran towards the two men.
Badru tripped Kahotep chuckling as he raised his axe up over his head ready to strike the killing blow, only to swing and cry out in pain as Sayuri came from behind swing her sword and connecting with his hand; cutting off his right hand. Badru turned around and growled at her bloodlust in his eyes as dark blood spilled from his severed hand. "I will get you for this b*tch!" He yelled at her and took a step towards her but then stopped. He looked around widely seeing people running towards them in the moonlight. Whose light was becoming stronger by the second. Badru clenched his other hand around his stump and went towards the water. "Don't forget this. Because I won't," He told her with a deathly glare before disappearing into the water.
The full moon shone brightly as Sayuri collapsed on the ground as Kahotep can towards her. She looked at him concern in her eyes, "Are you alright?" She tried to tend to his arm but he captured her hands in his big one.
"Is this what you didn't want to tell me about?" Kahotep asked her. His hand was warm and gently but his gaze was serious and demanded an answer.
Sayuri nodded, "His master, a priest, wants to use my life to take down the Egyptian Empire. I was afraid that if you knew-," He stopped her with a finger on her lips.
"I would never use your life to achieve a goal." He slowly moved his finger away from her lip and down to her chin. "You are far more precious than bringing down a rotting empire." He leaned closer and kissed her.
Sayuri was too shocked to move, let alone close her eyes. But when people's voices got closer she pulled away, her cheeks burning. She turned away wondering why her chest hurt so bad and all she could think about was Ramses.
There you go everybody I hope you like it and so very SORRY for talking so LONG! Review and let me know what you think. . . I know what I have to write next it is just going to be a little awhile because Finals are coming up! . But I will try to get the next Chapter out for a Christmas Present. REVIEW PLEASE! THEY MAKE ME HAPPY!