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Pet Name: Charelia
King Coltzan died on July 9th, 2001, from what I've heard. However, my story starts before that.
I was 19 when I first met the princess. Perhaps you know who I'm talking about, perhaps you don't. Her name was Princess Sankara. She's often thought to be the daughter of the King since another Aisha, Princess Amira, was related to him, but she wasn't. I met her when she was still the heiress to the throne of the Fourth Khonsu Dynasty. She was just nine-years-old when she had to flee her home and find refuge in Sakhmet.
The sweet, generous King of course welcomed the child with open arms and treated her as if she was his own. This is why, when she came of age at 18, she received a Royal guard, just like the other royalty of Sakhmet did.
The guard she received? It was me.
I had worked next to King Coltzan ever since I could hold a sword. I was powerful. I was one of the best royal soldiers the king had, so of course he picked me to guard Princess Sankara.
We got along just fine. She was a determined young woman, and I admired her for that. She confided in me. She told me her plans to raise a grand army when she became queen. She used to be good. It all changed when she heard that Princess Vyssa was in line to become the queen.
This drove her mad. She tried to pretend that she could still have her army when Princess Vyssa became the queen, but I knew the Princess was angry.
I was not the least bit surprised when she told me what she was going to do.
We had been together a year - I was 29 and she, 19. One day while we were in the castle gardens, she turned to me. "I want to become queen. It's time."
I couldn't move – I knew exactly what she meant.
"You are my right-hand adviser and I need your help. Will you join me? I'll need someone to be on my council once the deed is done. Think of it, Charelia. You know the Royal Family of Sakhmet has an endless supply of wealth. It could be yours. I'd give you all you want. All I ask is that you help me."
Did I accept?
Of course I didn't. I would never hurt the King. Never. He had supported me through all these years. He was the best king the history of Sakhmet had ever seen. I would never, ever, tear his life from him.
So I told the Princess I wouldn't do it.
"Well, just think about it," she said.
I thought about it. Not on whether to accept, but on what to do. I knew when she was going to do it, as well. The King had set a date for five royal guests to join him for a feast. That was July 10th. I knew I couldn't outright accuse his 'daughter' to his face. He would never believe me. That's why I had the idea of threatening to expose her at the feast itself; King Coltzan may not believe me but the other guests would. Princess Sankara had stopped looking popular in the public and politic eye many years ago.
I rushed to her room that day, hours before the feast was to begin. I certainly didn't want her to go through with it, even though I had the backup plan.
"Princess. You cannot do this."
She stopped brushing her thick, black hair, looking at me from the mirror in front of her. "So you've made your decision then?"
"I have. I respect you, Princess, but I will not let you do this."
She turned around. "And you think you can stop me? "
"I do. If you refuse to stop this nonsense, I will expose your plan to the guests."
The princess looked at me for a long time before responding "...Alright. You win. I won't do it."
I gave a sigh of relief. "Then c'mon," I said, turning my back to her. "Let's go downstairs."
I didn't notice her beginning to cast a spell on me.
In a flash she had finished the spell and a bright light soared towards me. I was on the floor, out cold, before I really registered what happened.
When I woke up, she was carrying me into a pyramid. She saw me stir and so she looked down at me.
"Well, good evening, Charelia. It's nice to see you up."
"Where... are we?" I asked groggily. She had cast a sleeping spell on me.
"We're in that old geezer's tomb. It's for him when he kicks it, but I figure I might as well toss you in here as well. He'll need a guard or something when he travels to the underworld or whatever."
Princess Sankara stopped walking and let me drop to the ground. "There you go, you traitor."
"You're the traitor," I hissed. "They'll find out that you did it. Mark my words."
The Princess was silent for a moment, and then chose not to respond to me. She turned around and said, "It was nice knowing you, Charelia."
With that, she was out through the entrance. I tried to escape before they closed, but it was too late. The circle stones had already sealed me in the tomb forever.
I panicked, of course. I tried to pry the doors open but obviously that didn't work. I screamed and yelled but I knew nobody would hear me. It was hopeless. King Coltzan's famous words echoed in my mind as I let myself drift into sleep.
I shall cower before no evil, and defend the virtue of my people against all enemies. Regardless of the outcome, at least I know that I have fought for a most noble cause.
I opened my eyes to see Nuria, the most powerful fire faerie of the desert - of the whole world, even - sitting right in front of me. Her fiery wings illuminated the entire tomb.
"N-Nuria! Oh, my prayers have been heard. Please, Nuria, help me," I begged, bowing to her.
"Sadly, Charelia, I cannot do that. The faeries have decided this is the way it must be." I felt myself slump, losing the hope seeing Nuria had given me. "But I have watched you. We knew the Princess would turn against her king. And you, Charelia, did not falter in the face of evil. You are strong."
"Load of good that will do me."
Nuria looked at me for a moment and then continued. "The King needs someone strong to protect him while he rests in his tomb. The faeries have foreseen this and we decided upon you.
I stared at her blankly. I had heard the stories of the tomb guardians. "Guardian? But this means..."
"Yes, Charelia. You will be the one that protects the King's spirit as he travels from here to his shrine to bestow gifts to his people. You will be the one that makes sure no one can reach the King's spirit while he is here. And you will be the one that waits and guides the King's spirit into the afterlife once he has decided to go. Do you accept?"
I was shocked, honored, scared, eager, and reluctant all at the same time. But the faeries had chosen this path for me, so I had to say...
Nuria smiled and then clasped her hands together, casting a spell on me.
"I believe in you, Charelia. Good luck."
With that, she disappeared. I have protected the King ever since.
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