Chapter 3: Recovery
"Where is the girl now?" Isis asked Atem, the guardians still gathered in front of the throne.
"She is in a secure room in the palace, guarded by two of my most trusted men," Atem said, "and she is not to be disturbed, she is very exhausted and weak and needs to recover."
"So what are we to do with Darius, Pharaoh?" Carim asked.
"I want you to find him and bring him to me," Atem said, clenching his fists, "There is no exception for his misdeeds, no matter what his status is!"
"We shall not let you down, Pharaoh," Shadah said. "Darius will be brought to justice."
Atem nodded, "Good."
They were interrupted by one of the palace guards, as he explained that the girl had awoken but seemed very distressed for some unknown reason, and that she would not let either of the guards near her to help.
"Perhaps I should go see what the problem is," Atem said, standing up.
"Allow me, Pharaoh," Seto said, "I'll go help the girl," he suggested.
Atem shook his head, "If there is anyone she would trust, it would be me. I am Pharaoh after all..." Atem thanked his guardians and left the room swiftly, heading for the girl's chambers. When he reached the door, he questioned the two guards on the situation.
"She seems quite distressed," the one known as Raphael said. "Though she won't let us near her, and hasn't said a word since she woke up."
"I'll see what I can do..." Atem said, walking past them into the room. He spotted the girl curled up in the bed, her back to him. When she heard his footsteps approaching, she turned, ready to fend off whoever it was. When she realised it was the Pharaoh, however, she stopped.
He carefully approached the bed, noticing that her eyes were red and bloodshot, filled with tears.
"How are you feeling?" Atem asked.
The girl wiped her eyes, before speaking quietly, "Quite terrible, really," she mumbled, pulling herself into a sitting position with a wince. "I apologise for any disrespect Pharaoh."
Atem shook his head, "Do not worry, you have shown no disrespect," he said. "May I ask what your name is?"
The girl cleared her throat, "Elina," she said.
"Well Elina," he said, "Would you mind telling me why you were so distressed earlier?" he asked.
Elina sighed, looking down at the cuts surrounding her wrists. "I had a nightmare about my time down in the dungeon..." she said. She went to explain more, but Atem stopped her.
"No, it's alright, I understand," he said. "Please allow my guards to look after you, they can clean you up and help heal those wounds." Elina nodded, and Atem turned to the two men at the door, "Raphael, Demitri, the girl has awoken. I told you to get food for her, why has this not happened?"
"My apologies Pharaoh," Demitri said, "We had been distracted with the previous events."
"Very well," Atem said, "Just make sure you look after her so she can recover." He turned to leave, Although her physical wounds will heal in time, Atem thought as he left the room, those nightmares of hers are a sign that her emotional scars may not disappear so quickly...
Later that afternoon, Atem had discovered that Darius was nowhere to be seen. The guardians said that they had searched everywhere for him, but he had disappeared. They assumed that he had fled after realising his dirty secret had been found.
"Do you think he may be behind the recent threats we have heard of?" Shadah had asked.
"Although he has been unfaithful to the palace," Atem had explained, "that does not mean that he is the one who intends to overthrow us, it could be unrelated," he said. That being said, they were still on high alert, and kept Darius in mind as a suspect.
As Elina recovered, Atem visited her often to check up on her. Unfortunately, her nightmares hadn't ceased, and the guards reported hearing screams coming from her chamber at night, but when going to investigate, would find her unharmed, simply being terrified by her nightmares.
Elina had almost completely recovered, though she still had trouble walking, she was getting healthier as she was eating properly and getting the rest she needed. This particular morning when Atem came to visit, he found her trying to get across the room to the tray of food that had been placed by the door. Unfortunately though, she was in too much pain and almost collapsed where she was, half way across the room. When Atem saw this, he quickly scooped her up in his arms, and placed her back on the bed.
"Thank you, Pharaoh," she said, sounding defeated.
"Why didn't you ask one of the guards to get this for you?" he asked, bring the tray over to her.
She sighed, "I don't want to be a nuisance, Pharaoh," she said. "And I thought that I'd be able to walk fine by now." She didn't realise how much damage Darius had done to her lower half with his rough onslaught of abuse. She shifted uncomfortably on the bed, willing the discomfort to go away.
"Asking for help isn't being a nuisance," he said. "You need to recover, remember?" She nodded, and Seto walked into the room, grabbing Atem's attention.
"My King," he said, "I apologise for the interruption."
Atem turned to Seto with a nod, "That's quite alright, you have news for me?"
Seto originally thought he would need to speak with Atem in private, but then figured it wouldn't be a problem for Elina to hear what he had to say. He stepped forward, "Pharaoh, I fear that Darius may be behind the threats we have been receiving. Even if he is not this enemy himself, he may be part of their plan."
Atem rested his hand on his chin, thinking about Seto's words. "A distraction, perhaps..." he said, "yes, that's quite plausible. He may not be our enemy, but that doesn't rule out him helping them out by dragging us off course. I suggest you alert the other guardians as see what they have to say, we appear to be running out of time."
"Indeed," Seto agreed, "If they find us before we find them we must be prepared," with one last nod, Seto left the room.
It was then that Elina spoke up, "Pharaoh," she said, grabbing his attention. He turned back to her. "Were you just saying that you think Darius is behind the threats you've been receiving?"
"Well, that we're not sure of," he said, sitting down on the end of her bed. "But as Seto just helped me realise, perhaps you were a distraction from what's really going on."
Elina thought for a moment, "I swear I remember hearing Darius say something about that..." she creased her eyebrows, becoming frustrated that she couldn't remember. She sighed, giving up. "Most of my memory from down in the dungeons is just a blur now."
Atem smiled at her reassuringly, "That would have been quite a traumatising experience for you, it is understandable that your mind wants to block it out. But if you do remember anything that could help us, please do let us know."
Elina nodded, smiling, "I will." Her smile then faded as she tried to think again. "I know that I heard him say something that might help, I just wish I could remember..."
okay, so i finally managed to finish this chapter that's been bugging me for weeks, yet im still not happy with it -.- anyway, hopefully i can slowly get back into writing this story as i know a few of you are interested in it, so i'll try my best :)
hope you liked the chapter!