I couldn't help but write this story! The idea came to me, strangely, when I was... under the shower. Damn that shampoo for being so inspiring! Anway, there are a few important things to mention:
The beginning might remind you of 'Prince of Egypt' since that was one of my inspiration sources (like the shampoo!) but I promise that it is not stolen.
Secondly, I'm aware of the fact that Akefia is the name that fans made up for Thief Bakura, but I still find it more fitting than 'Bakura' at least in Ancient Egypt.
Thirdly, I call Isis 'Ishizu' because it would be confusing if she had the name of the Goddess herself.
And last but not least - I am not and will never be a native speaker. Therefore I would ask you to correct me if I make any severe errors (same goes for if I write something wrong about the Egyptian culture etc.). It will help me improve and it benefits us all - thanks in advance for your help!
The Lost Prince
"After them!", roared a guard into the cold night air. He was followed by more guards with spears and swords in their hands. They sprinted down the small alleys of the sleeping city, chasing down a woman with a child by her side and an infant in her arms. They rounded another corner hastily in hope to lose the guards that were after them. The woman panted desperately and ran on her wobbly legs. They would catch up soon, she knew it.
"They are still... still right behind us!" the boy at her side said between pants, fear clearly audible. They could hear the cries behind them. What they needed was a miracle. The woman briefly thought of her husband and prayed to the Gods that he would find them before the guards caught up. Her hopes, however, were crushed the moment she tripped over a rock. She turned in time so she would not crush the child in her arms and landed on her side. The boy stopped immediately and went to help her stand up but she pushed his helping hands aside and instead held her infant out for him to take.
"Take Malik away from here! I will die but I want the two of you to survive", she pleaded. He hesitated for a moment but had no time as he heard the guards approach with high speed. He took the child into his arms and ran away from the scene. He did not turn around anymore and ran as fast and as far away as his legs would carry him.
"'Kefi", came a little, high-pitched voice from his arms. He glanced down at the boy in his arms who had just called him. Wide, lavender eyes stared at him, fear and confusion written all over his face. He tightened his arms around the boy.
"Everything will be fine, Malik, don't worry!" he said in a hurry and looked back up to see where he was running.
"'Kefi? Where is mommy, 'Kefi?" the boy asked innocently. The boy with wild, white haired bit his lip. The child's mother could be dead by now. He could not possibly tell him. A tear, which he had not noticed he had shed, dropped down onto the blond boy's cheek. He instantly looked sad as well and tugged on the older boy's tunic. "Why are you sad?"
Akefia's vision was blurry with tears and he clenched his eyes shut in order to get rid of them. To his misery he ran right into a guard when he was not looking. Bumping into the larger body, he fell backward onto his rear and yelped out of pain. He gazed up at the men that had cornered him now. 'No...', he thought in despair. In his haste he pulled out a knife from his belt but it was slapped out of his grasp, landing on the sandy floor where it was out of his reach. He shook violently as he looked back up at the guards, unconsciously pulling the child wrapped in linen closer to himself. He heard the boy say his name again, sounding confused and afraid. 'I have sworn to protect him...' He buried his face in the cloth the other boy was enveloped in and, as much as he hated himself for it, wept silently. In the next moment he felt something hit the side of his head which was followed by a sharp pain and then he passed out. 'Malik...' with the boy's name as his last thought he collided with the rough floor, the child trapped under one of his arms.
"Should we bring them into the dungeon or kill them right away?" one of the guards asked. Another shook his head.
"They are children but if we give them the chance to live they might become like their parents and become thieves as well. We should kill them right now." They heard the little child in the unconscious boy's arms begin to cry and weep loudly.
"What is the meaning of this?" came a voice from behind the guards. There stood a woman in a tunic with jewelery all over her body, a braided wig and a gold tiara on her head. The guards fell down onto their right knees to bow before her.
"Your majesty... these are members of the group of thieves that attacked us. We were about to punish them, your majesty." one of the guards explained, head bowed low.
She approached the 'thieves' and turned to look at the men incredulously. "These are children!" she said with disbelief and picked up the weeping boy and cradled him in her gentle arms. "You must be mistaken."
"But, your majesty-"
"I do not wish to hear any protests. I will take these children with me. Help this boy", the Queen demanded and pointed at the bleeding boy on the ground.
"With all due respect, your majesty, but he is already dead", one of the guards said. It was a lie, he had just struck his head not too long ago but he would not tolerate any thieves in the palace. The Queen, however, seemed to have adopted the younger boy already.
She narrowed her with kohl decorated eyes at the guard, glaring at him. "You will bear the consequences for killing a child", she threatened and turned on her heels. "I wish that this boy receives a funeral at the very least", she added and went back to the palace with her new son in her arms. As soon as she was out of hearing range she looked down at the infant, her ocean blue eyes observing his frail form. She smiled softly at him. "You will need a name, little one." She entered the golden palace, ignoring the stares the guards were giving her and gently stroke the boy's hair who had by then calmed down and fallen asleep in her secure embrace.
"Your name shall be... Namu."
10 years later...
A light breeze swept over the endlessly long dunes of the cool desert morning. The west side of the far sky was still dark and black, sparkling stars decorating it, whereas the east side was painted in a light rosy color mixed with orange and yellow. Ra's first beams of the day rose from behind the horizon. Soon the whole kingdom would awaken from its slumber but for now it was only the guards that were awake, or rather... those were the only ones that should be awake.
The jingling sound of anklets could be heard as a small body tried to sneak through the palace as silently as possible. The child stopped and looked down at the jewelery that seemed to intent to expose him to the guards. Pools of lavender narrowed in annoyance. He regretted having put them on now. Ignoring this, the small feet carried the body further into the palace to a certain chamber. He turned his head left and right to be certain that no one had noticed him. Without hesitating any longer he pushed the crimson curtains aside and snuck into the room.
He was pleased to find the person in the large bed seemingly fast asleep. The steady breathing that hardly reached his ears told him that he was right. Smiling, he approached the sleeping form curled up in sheets and layers of linen and silk. He knelt down on the edge of the bed and leaned over the other person. Lavender eyes observed the boy with tri-colored - red, black and blond - hair beneath him, sleeping peacefully. Staring at sleeping people makes them wake up, or so he remembered it to be. However, he had neither the time nor the patience to wait for the other boy to awaken on his own. So he reached out and poked the sleeping boy gently into his tan cheek.
After only a few pokes the boy began to stir and crimson eyes fluttered open. They widened immediately upon recognizing who had woken him up. He sat up in the bed and looked bewildered at the boy with platinum blond hair beside him, a wide smile on his face. "Namu", the boy with the tri-colored hair said, "what are you doing here? It is not even morning yet."
"Atemu, have you forgotten what you promised me?" the boy by the name of Namu asked, pouting slightly.
"Promise?" Atemu repeated, trying to recall a time when he had promised the blond boy anything that could involve him waking up before morning. The younger boy's pout only increased.
"Yes, promise. You promised me that on the day I reach twelve years you would show me the desert behind the palace walls." He then sighed, still annoyed, and crossed his arms over his chest. "So you have forgotten after all."
"No", Atemu protested, shaking his head, "I am still not awake so I could not understand what you were talking about." He then smiled at the pouting boy. "I would never forget a promise I gave to my little brother."
His brother began to smile, too, and giggled happily. "Good. We should go now before morning comes and everyone wakes up."
Atemu nodded, agreeing to that, got dressed, and they both made their way out of the large chamber. Torches on the walls lit their way through the palace. Both knew where the guards were positioned, so it was easy to find a safe route. The only hindrance was a jingling sound that now reached Atemu's ears as well. He glanced behind him were his brother was walking as quietly as he could. "Why do you have to wear those anklets now?"
Namu looked up with innocent amethyst eyes. "I did not think of it when I put them on. I just wear them every day."
"We will have to be especially careful so that the guards won't notice us." The younger nodded and they proceeded down the hallway. They were lucky that the guards were not too careful today and were already very sleepy. Not any of them noticed the two boys sneaking out of the security of the palace. The only thing that still separated them from the wide ocean of sand were the walls that kept the city safe in times of war. Atemu crouched down in front of the huge wall and knocked his knuckles against a brick. He repeated the action on a few more stones until he stopped at a certain one which he grabbed and pulled out. He tore a few more bricks until there was a hole big enough for a human to crawl through. His brother stared with wide eyes, admiring Atemu's knowledge. "How did you know it was here?" he asked in awe.
"I once discovered it while I was playing out here. The hole had been here before I found it. I did not make it myself if that is what you think." It should have worried the young prince that the wall that kept everyone safe was not at all flawless, but he never mentioned it. That hole was his only chance to escape the palace once in a while.
He stepped aside for his younger brother and motioned for him to go through. "You go first. It is your birthday after all."
The little noble needed no more words and without hesitation he went down on his knees into the sand and crawled through the hole, almost hitting his head in the process. He held his eyes closed until he was on the other side and even when he stood up. He wanted this to be his surprise. When he was on his feet again he reluctantly let his eyes flutter open.
He gasped although he could have sworn the sight took his breath away. His lavender eyes eagerly took in the seemingly endless sea of sand. The dunes were the waves that ran along that sea. The sun that gracefully rose from the horizon made the sand sparkle and paint the sky in many glorious colors. As the wind sighed sand was blown all over the desert, looking like a mysterious kind of haze. He felt a few grains of sand tickle his bare calves as they swirled across the desert floor. He smiled widely, overjoyed that he was able to witness what he had longed for all of his life in the palace - freedom.
He heard a rustling sound from behind him and knew it was Atemu who had made it on the other side as well. "It's so beautiful", he said as if in a daze. The older prince went to stand beside his brother and put a hand on his shoulder as he smiled.
"Happy birthday, brother. I hope you like your present."
"Yes, I love it!" the blond exclaimed and threw himself at Atemu. "Thank you so much!" He felt his brother return the hug and after a moment he released him again to look up at him. "Once you are the Pharaoh we will be able to see this whenever we want, right Atemu?" he asked eagerly. But he never heard the answer because the moment he had finished his question they both heard a noise from beside them which made them turn around to see what it was. Both stood frozen in shock as they gazed up at the person who had approached them.
There stood a man who could not have been a guard. He wore a light colored sarong that barely reached his knees and a red long-sleeved robe which showed his tan chest. His hair was covered by headwear of the same color as his sarong. He looked down at the two nobles with fierce grey eyes that reminded of a storm when it was about to start. Namu noted with interest that he had a pale, long scar over his right eye that went down half of his cheek, but the eye seemed unharmed. Behind the man stood a black stallion that kicked with its hooves impatiently into the sand. It had no saddle on its back but seemed to belong to the man nonetheless.
The man had a strange aura about him, it felt familiar to the little noble but he could not tell why. The man spoke up then "Are you from the palace?", he asked in a demanding tone, his grey eyes as hard as the stone walls behind them. It scared the younger prince and he went to step behind his older brother, one hand on his shoulder and the other tugging at the back of his tunic.
"Who is this man, Atemu?" he whispered, afraid the man might hear him. His brother did not answer, for he had no answer to that question except for 'I don't know'. But he did not reply to the man's question either. He was not acquainted with this stranger and knew better than to give such information away as if it was nothing.
The man studied the two boys in front of him. The older and taller boy with tri-colored hair wore a plain light tunic and no sandals but was adorned with jewelery everywhere - a tiara with the Eye of Horus in the middle, several gold braclets, earrings, belts and a beaded collar around his neck. He was either of a high social status or, as he assumed, from the palace. His eyes fell upon the younger boy that hid behind him.
His platinum blond hair looked almost white and hung over his eyes, shielding them, but the man found his wide eyes anyway. They were a beautiful shade of lavender, kohl decorating them in fine black lines on tan skin. He also wore a gold tiara on his forehead with the same eye pattern. His frail body was clothed in a long-sleeved tunic that reached his knees. Gold bracelets and anklets adorned his wrists and ankles. From what he could see there also was a gold choker around his neck as well as a necklace with an ankh as a pendant. Tightly wrapped about his hips was a violet cloth with golden embroidery. He gazed up at him in fear, muttering something to the other boy.
Something struck him like lightening when he saw the boy. His eyes widened for only a second but he quickly replaced this with a stoic expression again. He then noticed that he had still not received an answer but that did not bother him too much. He had found out something of great interest. "What's your name, boy?" he asked looking straight into purple eyes. The boy flinched, knowing that he had addressed him.
"N-namu...", he said barely above a whisper and his brother turned to look at him with wide eyes.
"You are not supposed to give your name to strangers", he hissed warningly. Such an action could prove to be fatal. The younger boy winced.
"I... but he asked...", he tried to justify.
"We should leave right away", Atemu whispered but the stranger had heard him nonetheless.
"No need to worry", he assured and came up with the best lie he could think of at the moment, "I am merely a trader and have come to this city after a very long journey. My companions were at the gates when I decided to study the safety measures of this city."
It sounded so convincing to Namu's ears that he believed it right away and brightened up in excitement. He stepped in front of his older brother, ignoring the warning hiss, and stood in front of the 'trader'.
"You have been on a long journey? Please, tell me about the things you have seen, where you have been and what you have sold! This is so exciting! I have never met anyone from outside before", he exclaimed with sheer joy.
"Namu!" came a harsh call from behind him but once again he ignored it. This was his first and maybe only chance to get to know the world better. He had read about Egypt and its surrounding nations way too much but never had the chance to experience anything outside the scrolls and books.
The stranger smirked at the child's excitement and will to let his guard down. He would have stayed longer but the sun had already risen far too high and he knew the guards might find them soon. If those children were really from the palace then that could put him in quite some trouble. He had to go for now. Reaching out, he patted the boy's soft blond hair and crouched down to be on eye level with him. He saw the older boy step a little closer in a protective way but cared not one bit. He grinned at the boy who had lost his smile but still looked curious and not at all uncomfortable with the touch. "Not this time, little one. But we shall meet again very soon."
The boy hesitated for a moment but dared to ask "Do you promise?"
The man's grin widened at the child's naiveté and nodded. "I promise. Until then..." He then stood up again, leaving the blond to tilt his head to meet his eyes. He turned around, waving his hand as if to say 'goodbye' and went to his horse to mount it. Before he did the boy made another two steps towards him.
"Wait! What's your name?"
The stranger got onto the stallion's back and took hold of the reigns, shifting his gaze back to the blond. "Akefia."
"Why did you not obey me?" Atemu asked, angered, as they walked down a hallway in the large palace to their bedchambers. Namu looked down at his bare feet as they did so. He did not feel any guilt for disobeying his older brother and future Pharaoh of Egypt but sadness because he had not been able to listen to the trader's stories. Would he really see him again? "Namu, are you listening?"
The younger prince's head snapped up to see his brother glaring at him over his shoulder. "I... yes, I was."
"Then answer me", Atemu demanded. His brother looked down at his feet again.
"I apologize, big brother...", he whispered, ashamed that he paid more attention to a stranger rather than his own brother. He heard the older boy heave a sigh, not saying anything for a long time.
"I forgive you", he finally said. He considered it the duty of an older brother to forgive his younger siblings when they have made a mistake.
"Excuse me, but why are you wandering the palace at this early hour?" asked a male voice that made both of them jump and turn around.
"Mahado!" they said in unison upon recognizing the man in front of them. It was one of the Pharaoh's priests, Mahado. He wore typical priest clothing which consisted of a long tunic that reached his ankles, with by jewelery fastened headwear, several gold decorations and - an object that only the Priest Mahado possessed - the Sennen Ring, one of the seven Sennen Items.
"So?" he said, raising a brown eyebrow. "Why are you up and about already, Majesties?"
The older prince began to nervously fidget with one of his heavy, golden earrings. "W-well..."
"It is because it's my birthday today and we wanted to be up early so we could see the preparations for the party tonight!" Namu exclaimed cheerfully. Atemu sincerely approved of his brother's skill to lie convincingly and nodded in agreement.
Mahado seemed to believe it and smiled at the two princes. "That's right, Prince Namu, today is your birthday. I was hoping to make your twelfth birthday special for you to never forget." He bowed as a sign of respect while the young boy's face lit up with excitement.
"Really? That sounds great! What have you planned?" The priest merely kept smiling as he put a finger to his lips.
"That, my prince, is a secret", he replied in a playful tone which made the young boy pout yet again. Mahado was like a friend to both princes rather than a servant. He was still young himself and he got along with the little nobles very well. They especially liked him because he hardly ever said 'no' when they asked him to play with them. Only when he had duties to fulfill he would reject the request.
"I hope you keep your word and make this an unforgettable event...", Namu mumbled.
"Of course, your Majesty, I do not intend to disappoint you in any way. Now, if you will excuse me, I have duties I need to attend to." The priest bowed his head with his hand over his heart and passed them by.
The day went as fast as it had come and soon the sun was behind the horizon again, leaving the land without any light except for the moon that shone brightly above their heads and the millions of stars that joined in. The great hall in which the golden throne stood proudly above everything else was filled with cheerful laughter, singing and dancing women. In the middle stood a long table, covered with silk cloths and various kinds of food placed on it. The six priests together with the Pharaoh's advisor were gathered about the throne. And in the throne itself sat the mighty King of the country - Pharaoh Aknamkanon. By his side stood his sons, Atemu and Namu, both wearing happy smiles, although the one who was truly overjoyed was the younger prince.
"Namu, my son", the Pharaoh said and the boy turned to him eagerly.
"Come here", he ordered with a wave of his hand and the boy obeyed, stepping up to his father until he was within reach. Aknamkanon put his raised hand gently on the top of boy's head and smiled at him, stroking his blond hair. "My son, you shall have my and the Gods' blessings. They have protected you for twelve years already. May they protect you for far longer than that and grant you a happy and fulfilled life. I wish you a happy birthday, Namu." His hand then cupped the boy's cheek and his son responded by putting his own hand over it and leaning into the affectionate touch.
"Thank you so much, father", he said happily and could have exploded with joy on the spot. His father then put his hand on his shoulder.
"Now, go and celebrate to your heart's content", he told him and without another word the boy was gone, pulling his brother by the wrist with him. He was on his way to the middle of the hall were all the guests were gather but stopped when his eyes met with the priestess'. He let go of his older brother and went to stand before the tall woman.
"Ishizu!" he exclaimed, delighted to see her. "You're already back from your journey?"
The priestess, wearing clothes similar to the other priests - a tunic, headwear and jewelery - smiled at the young prince and nodded. "Yes, my prince, the Sennen Torc showed me that I would be back in time if I hurried and so I did. You have my and Isis' blessings for your twelfth birthday, Majesty", she said and bowed her head, a hand placed over her heart. Ishizu was, like Mahado, close to the two nobles but was especially close to the younger one because he had not as many lessons as his brother. She had become something like an older sister in Namu's eyes and he loved her just as much as he loved his brother and father, if not even more. Not caring about how inappropriate it was, he leaned in and hugged her tightly, head burried in her stomach. She hesitated for a moment before she shyly put her hands on his shoulders, returning the affection without embracing the noble. He pulled away after a moment and smiled brightly up at her. She smiled back and with that the boy went back to his earlier intention of joining his guests. This time he did not grab Atemu by the wrist because he assumed he would follow.
Everyone was highly pleased with the event and Namu even got to know a young Persian noble who he befriended rather quickly. The party continued without anyone noticing what took place behind the palace walls. Suddenly the huge door was pushed open. Everything went silent as all heads turned to the entrance of the hall. Men armed with swords, bow and arrow, spears and other weapons entered the hall. Panic broke out among all guests.
Mahado turned to Ishizu with disbelieving eyes. "Ishizu, did the Sennen Torc not show you a vision of this?" he asked hastily.
She, too, stared in disbelief, whispering "I don't understand this... I let a great number of extra guards be positioned in front of the palace to prevent this future."
"Are you saying you knew this would happen?" another priest, Aknadin, asked furiously.
Ishizu shook her head, not believing her eyes. "I thought I could prevent this with more guards as our security. I don't understand this..." A vicious laughter tore through the tense air and everyone turned back to the entrance. There, before all the other intruders, stood a black horse with a man on its back. He grinned at the Pharaoh's obvious fury.
"Akefia", said the youngest prince. His new Persian friend turned to look at him.
"Prince, do you know this person?" he asked, hoping that maybe this was not an assault but some other guests that decided to make a show out of their arrival. Namu did not listen to him, however, and made eager steps to approach the 'trader'.
"Akefia, you have returned", he said cheerfully, greeting the intruder as if he was an old friend.
"My prince, stay away from that person! That man is known as the King of Thieves!" Ishizu exclaimed at the top of her lungs, hoping to warn the boy in time. In vain. In the blink of an eye the thief had reached to grab the boy and sat the him on the horse in front of him. Namu felt a cool blade pressed to his throat below his choker and gasped which only resulted in breaking the skin, not severe but enough to make it bleed.
"Prince Namu!" A few priests cried. The Pharaoh rose to his feet in anger and pointed an accusatory finger at the intruder.
"Release my son this instant, you thief!" he threatened, his tone harsh and full of rage.
"Or else what? There's nothing you can do to help your son", the Thief King spat, pressing the knife closer to the boy's throat which made the little noble back off into the thief's chest. He no longer wished to be close to this person. He was genuinely afraid and just wanted to be safe with his father and brother and the priests again. A frightened tear fell down the prince's cheek. There was nothing he could do. Would he be kidnapped? Killed? He remembered the horrible stories he had heard about the Thief King and his merciless way of robbing and killing. It scared the boy even more, to the extent where he began to uncontrollably shake and sob. He felt an arm sneak around his slim waist and a hot breath tickle against the skin of his neck.
"Don't be afraid", the thief whispered into his ear, voice husky yet gentle.
"Or else you shall feel the wrath of the Gods themselves!" the Pharaoh threatened.
"And sacrifice your precious son?" the thief mocked, emphasizing the word 'son' as if it was an insult that would dirty his tongue. The Pharaoh was silent for a moment, probably wondering what he should do. If he called forth the Gods to punish the thief he might kill his son, too. But if he did nothing to safe him, he did not know what the Thief Kind would do to him. Was there not a way he could safe his son?
"But do not worry, o Pharaoh, for I have merely come to retrieve what is mine already." Namu felt the grip around his waist tighten as his captor said so. Aknamkanon looked up with shocked eyes.
"You...", he began but did not dare to finish voicing his assumption. In that moment the thief turned around with his horse to leave.
"I will have your head on another occasion but not today. I already have what I wanted. Farewell, Pharaoh!" he laughed and dashed together with his prey out of the palace, the other thieves following close behind.
"Guards! After them! Guards!" However, the Pharaoh's commands remained unheard-of as they fell on dead ears. The group of thieves had made sure to kill all the guards that were positioned close to the palace and had no trouble finding their way out either. Aknamkanon sent his priests after the thieves. But it was too late... The thieves had vanished into the far desert with a head start to which the Pharaoh's servants were not able to catch up. Enhancements of guards were sent after the thieves to rescue the kidnapped prince. To no avail. They left no trace in the sand, proof that they really existed washed away by the ever changing dunes of sand. The kingdom felt into a state of despair even as the search for the lost prince went on. Some people had a feeling at the pit of their stomachs that their beloved, cheerful prince was to never return to them ever again...
The thieves gallopped through the desert towards the rising sun, the wind whipping into their faces as they raced without taking a single break. The little noble trapped in the Thief King's arms had passed out from exhaustion long ago. Grey eyes glanced down at the unconscious prince before him and he could not help the smirk that spread on his features. He had gotten something much more important than what they had originally come for.
"So tell us, Akefia", one of the thieves began as they rode on, "why did we kidnap that noble brat instead of robbing the temple?" The Thief King could hear the disapproval in his voice but ignored it completely, he did not even look at him as he replied.
"Because that 'noble brat'...", he started, never taking his eyes off of the small body in his arms, "...is the Prince of Thieves."
So much for Chapter 1, I hope you enjoyed it because I loved writing it! There's something else you might want to know:
Namu is in truth Malik of course and his nickname for Akefia used to be "'Kefi" when he was small. In the beginning Akefia was ten and Malik two years old, making them twenty and twelve now. Fair warning: Malik will become older by a few years before anything happens between him and Akefia (but it's still shotacon).
I have a feeling this story is going to be better than the Thiefshipping one I'm also writing on, but maybe that's just because I love Ancient Egypt so much~
Hope to see you in Chapter 2! Bye!